3 ways to prep for a move to the cloud

Don't skimp on the steps necessary to ready your business for cloud computing

A move to the cloud requires a certain amount of prep work in the enterprise. If you listen to the spin from those who provide cloud services and technology, it's no big deal. I'm here to tell you it is. To ready your enterprise for public and private cloud adoption, you need to focus on three key areas:

  • Becoming service-aware
  • Dealing with distributed security
  • Upgrading skills

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Becoming service-aware is not the same as becoming service-oriented, but if you're service-oriented, you're already service-aware. This is key to understanding how to work with clouds, which typically use APIs -- in other words, services. Thus, you need to understand how to deal with services, as well as how to alter the infrastructure to interact with those APIs/services, such as provisioning, management, and storage. Most enterprises don't have a clue here, so they move to cloud-based systems that are mostly driven through the innovation of APIs/services. This is like purchasing a new TV without a remote control in the box.

Dealing with distributed security means you need to understand that security is no longer just having user IDs and passwords to get to resources. Instead, you must deal with identity-based security for the many moving parts comprising cloud computing, including the use of services/APIs.

Upgrading skills is where enterprises typically drop the ball. Your staff needs to understand what's changing with the enterprise's use of cloud-based resources. Yes, this means hiring new people and firing people who don't step up to make this new technology a success. Make sure you create a human resource plan that's part of your cloud computing strategy.

None of these tasks is easy. They take time and money. However, if you're looking to push cloud computing into an organization that's not ready to deal with it, you won't find any value in cloud computing. Indeed, it will turn into a risk for the business.

This article, "3 ways to prep for a move to the cloud," 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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