It’s in the Cloud, Man

You’re rushing to put together a brief for the CIO on the new IT outsourcing projects and you realize you don’t know where your company data is. XYZ Corp is managing your IT infrastructure now, with a few remaining in-house IT managers. You call one of them up and ask, “Where’s our data hosted?”

“It’s in the cloud, man.”

Immediately images of a long-haired hippie, wearing a bandana jump into your mind. Resisting the urge to ask, “What have you done with my IT staff”, you instead ask, “And where exactly, is that?”

You wouldn’t be alone in wondering. Using the cloud to reduce costs, improve security, and ensure disaster recovery all makes sense. But it is possible to go too far.
CIO.com published an article
"7 Signs You've Outsourced Too Much to IT Service Providers". A similar point can be made about cloud services. Not that using 100% external hosted cloud services is necessarily bad. What gets companies into trouble is reaching the point where they have no in-house knowledge of their data, applications, or hosting AND their IT infrastructure isn’t on site. They have literally outsourced the whole shebang.

Like any IT deployment, utilizing cloud services requires a strategy. In addition to issues like cost and performance, you need to include security, compliance, and management. You are placing a piece (or all) of the corporate system into someone else’s hands – physically at least. Service providers are popping up everywhere and differentiating between them can be difficult. TechTarget.com has a quick reference guide on what to look for in a cloud provider. You can find it

What has been your experience transitioning to cloud computing? Has it been all rosy and trouble free? Have you encountered some unexpected twists and turns in the process?