5 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Choosing a Cloud Solution

Cloud_Platform_Buyers_Guide_250The following is an excerpt from Solutions Review’s 2015 Cloud Platforms Solutions Buyer’s Guide, to view the whole report, download if for free here.
What are my security needs?
With the number and scale of security threats these days, security has to be at the top of the list for decision-makers. So how critical is the data you’ll be pumping through that cloud infrastructure and platform? Additionally, how is the potential new cloud platform planned to connect with other aspects of your business and technology environment, potentially creating new gateways for malicious attacks? Is the potential platform’s architecture such that security can be built into the solution? These answers can help you determine how much you will need to invest into security to ensure your new cloud platform dream doesn’t become a nightmare.

Where is the value-add in my business, both now and in the future?
Businesses should maintain internal capability in areas where they have the most value-add. This way you can maintain in-house expertise needed to maintain your competitive edge in key product areas today, and in the future through innovation. On the other hand, areas where you don’t have much value-add and that aren’t necessary for maintaining your competitive edge, can be outsourced. Because the acquisition of a cloud platform might represent the outsourcing of internal business capability, make sure what you’re outsourcing won’t hurt you down the road through lost internal expertise.

What are the business needs I’m looking to address?
Cloud platform solutions could represent significant savings for your company, but you still need to make sure you don’t pursue a solution your company doesn’t need. Make sure you actually need an entire enterprise cloud platform solution and not just a software add-on and vice versa. This requires that you clearly define the specific business needs driving the project.

How big is my company and IT department?
Some cloud platform solutions providers will be better suited to helping smaller companies, while others cater toward larger companies. Pick potential solutions providers with a good reputation for working with other companies in your size, vertical, geography, etc. Additionally, the size, sophistication and slack within your IT department also impacts how good a match a potential solution is. Investigate what resources and capabilities your IT has available that might be relevant to implementing and running the cloud platform solution before you select a vendor.

What support will I need from the vendor?
Even (or perhaps especially) large companies sometimes need extra support and services from vendors in order to make sure the enterprise technology solutions run well. The same is true for cloud platforms. Find out what support and services your company may need before selecting a vendor so that you know what to ask for and compare.

Jeff Edwards
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