The CIO cloud blueprint: A strategic planning guide

Last updated:June 2014

Editor's note

Implementing cloud computing technologies is no longer a question of "if" for enterprise CIOs, but of "when" and "how." Employees, customers and clients want immediate access to business applications, platforms and corporate infrastructure from their office computers, laptops and mobile devices to make working in the 21st century seamless and efficient, and the cloud can provide that and more.

But making best use of the cloud can be complicated. IT leaders crafting a cloud blueprint must decide between public, private or hybrid cloud models and then ask whether software as a service, infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and other such offerings would best align with their company's strategic direction. In this CIO Essential Guide, get integration advice from cloud-first CIOs and expert cloud advocates in order to set your cloud blueprint in motion.

This strategic planning guide on tailoring a cloud blueprint to your organization is part of the CIO Briefings series, which is designed to give IT leaders strategic management and decision-making advice on timely topics.

1Cloud computing advice straight from the pros

Is your organization hoping to weave cloud computing services seamlessly into business operations? In these videos from SearchCIO sister sites and, glean some CIO-relevant pointers for public, private and hybrid cloud integration on the enterprise scale.

2Find the ideal cloud infrastructure for your organization

When it comes to implementing cloud technologies, is your IT organization comfortable hosting certain enterprise infrastructure in the cloud, prepared for a loss of full control over certain business applications, collaboration tools, client personally identifiable information and databases, and willing to pay for these hosted or hybrid services? Finding the right cloud computing model -- one that both fits your organization's needs and leaves you feeling secure -- is no easy task. The advice in these SearchCIO stories can ease your attendant cloud concerns.

3Implement cloud technologies, but pay mind to risk

Once you've established a blueprint for your enterprise's cloud strategy and selected the appropriate services to suit your organization's needs, it's finally time to integrate. Whether IT decides to host cloud services publicly or privately, there's a sky-high number of considerations to assess. In this section, our recent news stories and expert columns provide pointers on getting cloud implementation right the first time, and keeping them running smoothly thereafter.

4Cloud computing examples, advantages and challenges for CIOs

Many CIOs remain leery about making the cloud computing leap, given the challenges inherent in moving business applications and infrastructure to an off-site provider, or building one's own cloud infrastructure. There's also a fear among some in IT that a cloud-centric world might be their professional undoing.

Take this quiz, based on SearchCIO's recent cloud computing coverage, to help inform your decision as you consider moving none, some or perhaps even all of your IT infrastructure and applications to the cloud.