Businesses may be able to realize cost savings benefits from cloud computing, but achieving those benefits takes enterprise-wide planning, according to a recent Forbes article that highlighted several questions business leaders need to ask as they move toward the cloud.

Businesses need to understand the service-oriented nature of cloud solutions and develop a strategic plan that prevents redundant services from being implemented. According to Forbes, lacking a plan that incorporates all aspects of the business could make cloud solutions more expensive than traditional, on-site technologies.

IT departments also need access to corporate compliance data and security requirements to ensure the chosen solutions can meet those demands. Forbes highlighted comments from E.G. Nadhan, co-chair of cloud computing governance at The Open Group, who discussed the advantages and challenges access to big data gives businesses. According to Nadhan, the cloud gives businesses a data advantage, but businesses need to make sure the storage of that data meets security and compliance standards.

As more IT transfers to the cloud, IT needs to redesign itself to be more service-oriented, according to a recent Network Computing article. In addition to metrics to evaluate the performance of IT on an ongoing basis, technology departments may need new positions to ensure customers are satisfied at the service level.