3 surefire ways to screw up cloud computing

As best practices continue to emerge, so are the things that will kill your cloud project -- guaranteed

Current Job Listings

Many companies are having great success with cloud computing, and it's clear that the market continues to grow by leaps and bounds. However, with any new technology plays, there are those projects that do quick face-plants. These paths to failure are also emerging -- and highly avoidable.

Here are three surefire ways to fail with cloud computing and what you can learn from them to avoid suffering that same fate.

[ In the data center today, the action is in the private cloud. InfoWorld's experts take you through what you need to know to do it right in our "Private Cloud Deep Dive" PDF special report. | Also check out our "Cloud Security Deep Dive," our "Cloud Storage Deep Dive," and our "Cloud Services Deep Dive." ]

First, put the wrong people on the project. This is the most common way that cloud computing development, migration, and implementation projects fail. Cloud computing is a hyped "cool" space. Those who have the most political clout in an IT organization quickly position themselves on cloud computing projects. However, just because they are buddy-buddy with the CIO does not mean they have the architectural and technical skills to make the cloud work for the enterprise.

Bad decisions are also made in terms of deciding how to select technology types and technology providers. It's a manage-by-magazine world at many organizations. When you select what's popular versus what's a true architectural fit, you shoot yourself in the foot. I'm fixing a ton of these mistakes these days.

Second, security is an afterthought. This means that those driving the project do not consider security and compliance requirements until after deployment. It's almost impossible to retrofit security into a cloud computing deployment, so the approach and use of technology (such as encryption) should be systemic to the environment. This is a rookie mistake.

Third, select the wrong business problem to solve with cloud computing. The right approach is to pick new application development or existing application migration that is meaningful to the business, but that is not mission-critical.

There are two paths to failure here. The first is to pick the "kill the business with a single outage" type of application, put it in the cloud, then pray to the Internet gods that nothing goes wrong. Too risky. The second is to pick a meaningless application that nobody cares about, move it to the cloud, and hope that somebody notices. Too underwhelming. Find something that falls in the middle.

This article, "3 surefire ways to screw up cloud computing," 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.