IT Staff Should Know About The Cloud

it staffIt doesn't matter if it's small or large, if you have one techie or a whole swarm of IT professionals — there are certain things your IT team should know about the cloud right away (and before you put them in charge of implementation!).

The cloud is often misunderstood, and even some IT professionals don't fully grasp its capabilities. So what should your IT staff or employee know about cloud hosting in order to assure a successful implementation?

1. IT Staff Should Know: The cloud is not more or less secure than other hosting options.

Don't let security concerns stop you from moving to the cloud. Cloud hosting is just as risky as shared or even dedicated hosting. Your in-house data center is just as susceptible to security breaches. Keep security as a priority every step of the way when planning your cloud strategy, whether public or private, and you'll be better protected.

Here's an example: you choose a traditional hosting method, and fill in your employees on the ins and outs of allowable sharing and collaboration. Those employees will likely turn to services like Dropbox and Google Docs, despite the plan you so carefully laid out.

If you plan a cloud strategy instead, you can allow employees to use whatever service they'd like. You're prepared in terms of security for whatever comes up along the way because you planned for it in the first place.

2. IT Staff Should Know: Don't rush into the cloud.

Although there are many options that seem easier than others, like AWS for example, it's not all cut and dry. You will need to spend a lot of time customizing solutions and integrating applications.

So the real trick is: take your time to find a cloud solution that will leave you the least amount of work. If your IT staff pushes you to jump on a solution because it's “quicker and easier,” you should be concerned.

3. IT Staff Should Know: A virtual hosting environment is not the same thing as the cloud.

The cloud is very different from virtualization. Although they were both designed to make the most of resources (while at the same time making things more efficient and streamlined), each method is unique.

The main difference: cloud computing is highly customizable at any point in time, and more of a service than an infrastructure. It isn't a one-size-fits all solution, whereas virtualization is often limited in this respect.

Another fact to point out: look at your needs closely, and then select the best option. If your IT department pushes you towards the cloud (and your use of the hosting environment is high), you might find virtualization is the cheaper way to go.

Just because the cloud is hot in the tech world doesn't mean everyone should be jumping on board.

4. IT Staff Should Know: The cloud won't fix everything.

So applications are running slow for your users. Does this mean the cloud will fix it all? Most certainly not. Before you move it all over to the cloud, you need to make sure it isn't a poor design that's causing the problem. If your IT staff hasn't done this prior to moving to the cloud, that's a problem.

Is your IT staff ready for the cloud?

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