10 best practices for the cloud

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Experts lay out the rules for IT managers who want to use the cloud safely and effectively

According to the IT industry trade association CompTIA, "Over 80 percent of companies now claim to use some form of cloud solution, whether that be virtual machines that can be spun up on demand or applications that can be easily procured and put into use."

Right now there are three major trends driving cloud usage and deployment, says Laura Maio, director of customer solutions for Trend Micro. "First, organizations are using public cloud as a natural extension of their internal environments. Second, non-IT business groups are using the public cloud to gain faster access to server resources and storage. Third, IT organizations are being pressured to establish secure private cloud environments that function like public clouds, in order to win back non-IT business groups from the public cloud."

Ed Mahon, Kent State vice president and CIO, is a big believer in the cloud, but only if IT departments use it intelligently. "We use activity-based cost accounting to assess when it makes sense to move on-premises service into the cloud," he says. "For example, we saved $650,000 annually by moving our faculty and staff e-mail service to Microsoft 365. " In addition, moving student email to the cloud "allowed us to decommission 30 servers."

For IT managers, the challenge is to use the cloud both effectively and safely. We consulted with several cloud experts and compiled this list of 10 cloud best practices.

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