Your top 5 cloud priorities for the rest of 2015

Now's the time to get serious about containers, service governance, cloud brokerage, and more

Wow -- the year is almost half gone, so it's time for many enterprises to look at how to spend their remaining cloud budget. Alternatively, they can decide what items should be on the to-do list before the end of the year approaches.

Here are five points to consider, if you haven't done so already:

1. Create a container strategy. Containers like Docker's are coming on strong. Relatively new, they will influence how you migrate existing applications, as well as how you develop and deploy new applications. It's time to figure out the container strategy for your enterprise and what related technologies will become important.

2. Focus on cloud service governance. The ability to monitor cloud services, whether consumed or exposed, will be an ongoing issue. If you haven't done so already, try to get your service governance act together, including selection of the proper technology stack, and do a few proofs of concept.

3. Figure out your cloud brokerage strategy. Enterprise IT will become the cloud brokers for the business, so you need to select a cloud broker that will support the provisioning of cloud services. To make the best use of your remaining 2015 budget, create a strategy and test cloud broker software. This work will come in handy as you find yourself between the business units and the public cloud services.

4. Create a cloud-skills hiring plan. Whether you have to hire or train, both paths are expensive and call for some planning. Now is the time to figure out that path, before the demand becomes too great. Make sure to splurge on hiring, training, or both. It will be cheaper in the long run.

5. Improve the business cases. Many enterprises have old, less sophisticated business cases to justify the use of cloud-based resources. You know the kind: opex versus capex. It's time to gather data from projects already implemented and use that data to improve the business cases, so they are truer to life. (As to what ROI you should be looking at beyond opex versus capex, the answer is agility.)

There's lots to do in the remainder of the year. It's time to get busy!