3 surefire ways to kill a cloud project

In the flood of new cloud projects, a few are committing suicide -- find out why

Many enterprises are working on cloud computing projects, ranging from simple and quick prototypes to full-blown enterprise system migration. While most are succeeding, a few are biting the dust.

The reasons for failure vary, but common patterns are beginning to emerge. I keep seeing the same three reasons that cloud computing projects fail over and over again.

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1. Not understanding compliance. There seems to be two modes: One is to assume that data can't reside anywhere but the data center, citing compliance issues. But no one bothers to test this assumption, and often there is no true issue with leveraging clouds. Two is assuming there are no compliance issues and getting in trouble quickly as legally restricted data finds itself in places it really should not be. Either approach is cloud computing poison.

2. Betting on the wrong horse. Not all cloud computing providers are equal, and a few have the nasty habit of going out of business or shutting down to avoid channel conflicts. We saw this when EMC shut down the Atmos storage-as-a-service provider to work on issues in its channels. Chances are we'll see a few more of these pop up at the larger on-premise players as they realize the cloud is a replacement for -- not an enhancement of -- their technology.

3. Not including IT. Although you'd think IT is driving most cloud computing endeavors, some projects are working around IT to get a software-as-a-service provider online, increase their storage, or support a rogue application development effort. I understand that in many instances IT is the department of "no," and eventually it will find you out and shut you down. The real answer to this problem, though, is that IT needs to be more open-minded about the use of cloud computing to move faster in creating infrastructure and applications that better support the business.

This article, "3 surefire ways to kill a cloud project," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and follow the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com.

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