Selecting Proper Cloud Platform is Essential

January 17, 2013

Cloud computing has been one of the IT and corporate buzzwords in recent years, and that isn't expected to change anytime soon. According to multiple reports, the vast majority of organizations will have adopted some form of the cloud in the near future.

However, many companies may be neglecting the importance of choosing the right cloud computing platform. In a recent interview with ZDNet, Floyd Strimling, vice president of community and technical evangelist at Zenoss, said that too many decision-makers are focusing on the cost of cloud services rather than how closely they fit with their business needs. Strimling suggested that company executives consult with IT professionals before settling on a decision with regard to the cloud.

But what are some of the key differences between public and private clouds? When is a good time to employ a hybrid strategy? In a recent blog for InformationWeek, Jim Ditmore, senior vice president of IT infrastructure and operations at Allstate, highlighted the benefits of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS):

IaaS: This can include either a private or public cloud computing network that a company has customized for itself. While IaaS requires the most IT infrastructure support, it most likely fits the closest with an organization's needs.

PaaS: Companies that employ PaaS are able to create their own solutions based on available public cloud software.

SaaS: This generally comes from the public cloud and allows companies to deploy programs that perform specific business functions. SaaS is typically compatible with hybrid strategies.

Implementing cloud computing strategies
After an organization's decision-makers have chosen the proper cloud computing platform to use, the next step is implementing the technology. A recent Forbes blog outlined different factors companies should keep in mind, including:

– Until the cloud computing market matures, moving the organization's entire infrastructure to the cloud might not be the best move. Instead, employing a hybrid strategy could make a lot of sense, as this provides companies both security and agility for the near future.

– Because cloud computing is changing the role of IT departments, management should prepare to make some adjustments. This could mean adding cloud specialist IT jobs or cloud-based IT service companies.

– Security should remain a top priority for both executives and IT leaders. Security measures can be built directly into the company's new cloud infrastructure and response plans should be established beforehand to mitigate potential risks.