Stuff to think about, then cloud
Not everything will be effortlessly cloudable. Some things require more thought and planning. Consider the following:
9. Identity: We went Google. If it's good enough for the NSA, it's good enough for us! This may actually be a crucial choice before going all-in cloud, since the cloud offerings you select need to work with your identity provider.
10. Database: Scale in concurrency, scale in size, reliability, recoverability, and all of that juicy stuff. Especially if you are considering newer databases like MongoDB or HBase. These are available as utility offerings from your PaaS or IaaS provider.
11. Application servers: Do you enjoy installing and maintaining infrastructure around Tomcat or PHP or Node, etc.? Do you love waiting for WebSphere to start up? Maybe you won't be sending existing, complicated legacy apps to the cloud soon, but you can at least observe the first law of holes and stop digging.
12. Telecommunications: Why have a PBX onsite? Why have video or conferencing stuff? All of this can be maintained for you. If you have extensive legacy infrastructure, this is a little harder to do overnight.
13. Office suites: Seriously, you too can learn Google Docs or something that allows you to do attachmentless sharing and collaborative editing. Let's not understate the effort -- graphics and other things don't translate well, and there is still a feature gap. Granted, most people don't use those features, and many can be "done without" in exchange for better collaboration features (not having conflicting edits) but it took a relatively young and small company over a year to effect this change. Rome wasn't burned in a day.
14. Load testing: You're going to be hearing about this a lot in the next few months. Frankly, the traditional load test tool, Mercury, sucks majorly. Sure, it's very powerful, customizable, etc., but quite often you need some geometric multiplier of your server farm's horsepower in order to test with it. Moreover, it requires a lot of care and feeding. Also, people with sufficient expertise in it are hard to come by. Watch for some interesting new players in this field.
15. Continuous integration: Jenkins is the powerhouse here, and if your PaaS provider hasn't integrated it like Cloudbees has, I expect it will soon (or in the case of Google App Engine, through a partnership with Cloudbees). I'd throw this in the "thoughtless and now" category except for the number of dependencies. You could cloud your internal CI, but certainly it is easier once your source control and application server are clouded.
16. Wiki: Maintaining your own wiki is a headache that you don't need. Watch out, though: Many cloud-based Wikis are of the "really crappy imitation WYSIWIG editor" variety instead of the wiki-power-user friendly variety. Whatever you do, don't let anyone talk you into dumping your wiki into Google Docs, whose weakness is (surprise!) search.
17. CMS/website: I was once on a project where they insisted on spending millions of dollars on a custom corporate presence site. Granted, your highly interactive stuff won't be on Drupal or a flat CMS solution, but the stuff your marketing people edit should be. Don't go nuts with Teamsite or something like that as users won't understand it anyhow and it will be a cavernous thing to care and feed and debug. Go as close to click and edit (Adobe CQ style) as you can.>
These are the things that I've been watching people do with relatively ease or think that are on the immediate horizon. What else have you clouded pretty effortlessly or are looking to do?
This article, "17 things you should go ahead and cloud," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Keep up on the latest developments in application development, and read more of Andrew Oliver's Strategic Developer blog at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.