The 4 cloud computing resolutions you should make for 2013

Now that 2013 is here, we need to make four improvements to cloud computing -- and its users

It's 2013. Cloud computing is another year older. As adopters, we're making fewer mistakes, but I suspect we'll repeat many of the same errors from 2012.

Now is the time to work on cloud computing improvements, to set reasonable goals -- and to make sure we live up to them. To that end, here are four cloud computing resolutions for 2013 I suggest we all adopt:

1. I resolve not to "cloud-wash." 2012 was another year of cloud everything. Virtually all products had some cloud spin, no matter what it was or the type of problem it solved. The truth is that cloud computing should be a specific type of technology that includes attributes such as on-demand, self-provisioned, elastic, and metered by use. By calling everything "cloud," the vendors look silly -- and they sow confusion.

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2. I resolve not to use cloud computing for everything. Many IT pros try to put cloud computing square pegs into enterprise round holes. Cloud computing is not a fit in all instances, considering the cost and complexity it can bring. Do your homework -- this means understanding the needs of the business and the problem you're looking to solve. Moreover, make sure there's a clear business case for the cloud.

3. I resolve to always consider management, performance, and service governance. IT pros and providers who stand up systems that use cloud computing often forget about the fact that you have to operate the thing. Management is required to monitor the cloud-based system and keep things working, as well as deal with performance issues during operations. Finally, service governance is required to deal with the APIs that are externalized or consumed. If you don't address these issues, your cloud is doomed -- it's that simple.

4. I resolve not to question cloud security before I understand the technology. In many instances, enterprise IT pushes back on cloud computing because it isn't considered secure. The truth is that data and systems residing in public or private clouds are as secure as you make them. Typically, cloud-based systems can be more secure than existing internal systems if you do the upfront work required. Proclaiming a product's security (or lack thereof) before understanding exactly what it entails is at best counterproductive -- and often just plain wrong.

If you make and meet these four resolutions, your life will be much less complicated this year. Have a great 2013!

This article, "The 4 cloud computing resolutions you should make for 2013," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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