We're well on our way to moving applications and data to the cloud. So far the results are pretty good. However, enterprise IT is collectively finding a few details can go wrong, and some of them start at the CIO level.
CIOs are a bit perplexed when it comes to cloud computing. It's clearly an industry trend that all CIOs should consider, but the impact on enterprise IT is huge. The risks are big, as is the cost of moving. There are no clear paths, and you have to do some deep thinking around the true value of cloud computing.
With these caveats in mind, CIOs should make sure to never take these actions when they move to the cloud:
1. Never work without a plan. This means somebody in the organisation should be charged with driving a core migration strategy that includes business case validation and pilot projects.
Many CIOs work by iteration. Although this sounds like a good idea and seems to be the way we build software these days, it'll typically cost much more in the long run, and it raises the risk of the migration effort. This does not mean you need years of planning, but you will need a solid foundation as to where you're going and how you're getting there.
2. Never work with cloud haters. In many instances, people in IT organisations will declare their opposition to cloud computing, even before they understand the application of this technology. Those people are usually poison when it comes to making in progress with cloud, so they should not be put on the project.
However, this does not mean you should include only pro-cloud cheerleaders on your project -- it's good to have smart people who ask tough questions. Just be sure to exlcude those who don't have an open mind and are not willing to consider the facts; they won't help you.
3. Never work with a self-funded model. Many CIOs are moving to the cloud with the idea that cloud computing savings will pay for the migration costs.
Self-funding is possible, but only after you've reached a certain point. At least initially, you will need to fund the cloud migration with other dollars. If you try to use cloud savings to pay off the migration as you go, you'll end up operating at about a quarter speed.
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