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Cloud computing in business: Find the right model

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14 questions that drive cloud computing strategies in the right direction

Stop debating what the cloud is and start asking these 14 questions that develop cloud strategies for the business worth talking about.

Conduct a Google search on the phrase "What is the cloud?" and one of the first answers to pop up is 'the cloud...

is just a metaphor for the Internet.' While that statement is debatable, the bigger question is what questions CIOs should be asking to develop sound cloud computing strategies.

In the first part of this CIO Matters column, IT and business strategy expert Harvey Koeppel discussed the quagmire of technology that is dubbed the cloud and why the technology itself does not translate into cloud computing strategies. Here, he  runs through 14 cloud strategy questions that will lead CIOs to extract more business value from cloud computing.

Rather than thinking about the technology "stuff" that tends to occupy our days (and nights), enterprises and their CIOs need to be thinking about their business and operating models. Here are some alternative ways for CIOs and their teams to ask good questions and drive the conversation they need to have with their business partners about cloud computing strategies.

Tech and business questions to ask about cloud computing strategies

For some enterprises, especially early-stage companies and SMBs, starting out or moving their IT to a public cloud infrastructure may be feasible, in particular, in situations where application needs are relatively modest, standardized processes will suffice and data footprints do not include large amounts of personal, highly confidential or regulated information.

For more mature enterprises that typically maintain significant portfolios of legacy applications and/or sensitive data as described above, either hybrid or private cloud strategies are likely to be more feasible in the short term and provide the most effective path toward realizing shorter time to market for new products and services, less expense to develop and maintain applications, enormous scalability, best-in-class reliability and all without comprising cyber or information security.

Let me know what you think. Post a comment or drop me a note at hrkoeppel@aol.com. Discuss debate or even argue -- let's continue the conversation.

Article 6 of 6

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What cloud strategy question would you add to the 14?
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I think an important question is one that bridges technology and business. Namely, how are Internal people and external customers consuming IT from our company and how is that changing?
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Can you explain a bit more about your concerns on data security when you say "starting out or moving their IT to a public cloud infrastructure may be feasible, in particular, in situations where data footprints do not include large amounts of personal, highly confidential or regulated information.". What I am seeing is that the data centres for these cloud services are ISO certified, and in most of the cases more secure than any organization's own data.
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I agree that for larger enterprises, private/hybrid cloud is the most likely path. The issue is that the users in most of these organizations have already taken the step to public cloud (mostly because IT was not easy/fast enough). So other questions that you may want to ask yourself is: How do we govern our IT services coming from internal IT and external providers, so we ensure control, security and compliance, but at the same time offer out business the functionality and agility they need. and.... How do we classify our application and data so we know what requirements need to be met when we deploy our applications (on whatever environment that is available)?
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