Cloud computing: Walk before you run

If you are looking to cloud computing as an innovative way of providing IT services, don't dismiss your network as inconsequential to the success of your ambitions.

Cloud computing has taken the technology industry by storm. Whilst some technology concepts have suffered from massive hype, but fallen at the implementation stage – Service Orientated Architecture anyone? – cloud computing appears to be establishing itself as a sound business prospect.

Analyst house Gartner has predicted that it has the potential to be as significant as ‘e-business’ to the IT sector. This is perhaps unsurprising given current competitive market conditions and there is no doubt that cloud computing offers businesses some seriously big carrots from scalability through to cost savings.

Cost cutting and performance optimisation now go hand-in-hand. Driving more with less is becoming the mantra of organisations world wide. However, before businesses are blinded by the advantages they need to take a step back and look at the underlying nuts and bolts that are required to make it tapping into the cloud a success.

Fundamentals

Cloud computing assumes one crucial, fundamental, element – that businesses have sufficiently high bandwidth connections, essential to ensuring that the hundreds of people across the organisation can access business critical software applications and upload/download data from the cloud, already in place.

However, many businesses are still reliant on relatively low bandwidth DSL connections, meaning that they could falter at the first hurdle and perhaps be blocked from accessing the benefits of the cloud.

Just like any technology implementation, cloud computing has to drive business performance not hinder it. There is little point in gearing up a business to benefit from the cloud if once implemented it takes employees longer than it did previously to access the application they require.

What businesses will have saved in cost, they will lose again in terms of staff productivity. It is therefore vital that cloud computing can meet the designated service level agreements that underpin the effectiveness of the organisation.

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