3 Process Pitfalls to Avoid When Embracing Cloud Computing

When people think about moving services to the cloud they are naturally focused on some of the many advantages: reducing costs and making them more predictable, increasing flexibility, and decreasing the headaches associated with managing applications. But before you make the jump to the Cloud take some time to consider the effect on your processes.  Here are three important considerations:

  1. When a user has an issue with an app in the cloud who do they call? Having them always contact your Service Desk prevents the user from having to figure out who to call and gives you the benefit of tracking issues, but it also means you have to develop a way to get the issues from your service desk to them and track their resolution.
  2. When the provider makes changes how are you notified? Do you have any say? When the application is in your datacenter you can manage it according to your business needs.  When it is in someone else’s, what is in place to prevent them from scheduling maintenance during a time that is critical to your business?
  3. What does the provider’s Business Continuity Plan look like? Usually one of the advantages of the Cloud is that providers can offer higher availability at a lower cost, but take the time to review their continuity planning details before they effectively become part of yours.

The questions outlined here aren’t unique to the cloud, they need to be considered any time you involve a vendor in delivering IT services. Every provider has worked through these questions and developed some standard answers; but don’t assume their answers meet the needs of your business. Ask questions like these before you sign a contract when the vendor will be more likely to work with you and you can factor the responses into your decisions.

So, what is your experience dealing with vendors?  Have you found a good plan to use for updating apps and notifying users?  What steps do you take in building your Business Continuity Plan?  Drop us a quick note here in the comments to share with others your experiences (good and bad).  We look forward to hearing from you.
Jason Druebert Consulting Solutions Senior IT Service Management Consultant AT&T About Jason