Cloud computing has presented businesses with significant opportunities, including more agility, streamlined processes and lower IT costs. Since cloud adoption has shown no signs of slowing down, organizations that have yet to make the switch can take certain measures to establish a cloud deployment strategy that is effective and smooth.

Steps for successful cloud deployment
While utilizing a managed service provider is essentially the easiest way to deploy cloud-based solutions, there are multiple steps businesses can take to ensure success, according to CloudTweaks contributor Brian King.

Before making the switch, organizations should identify which business infrastructure components, processes and systems can be outsourced.

Businesses need to calculate the amount of money they'll save before adopting cloud-based solutions. Maintaining legacy hardware can be costly, and cloud services eliminate those associated costs. Making sure stored data abides by compliance requirements is important, especially as it pertains to security and how data is transferred. Some examples include HIPAA compliance for healthcare data and Sarbanes-Oxley for financial systems. SSL encryptions are becoming the norm for cloud compliance policies.

If a company is considering the cloud, it's important to know the differences between the three main platforms - i.e., private, public and hybrid. 

  • Private - hosted internally to employees and provides high levels of security
  • Public - software-as-a-service providers utilize a public cloud to offer their services (e.g. Google Drive, Facebook)
  • Hybrid - offers the most effective deployment, including business using public cloud computing resources to scale more quickly 

A service-level agreement with managed service providers guarantees that in the event of downtime, businesses are able to restore operations quickly and keep performance maximized. Creating policies so employees understand how to use the cloud correctly, and addressing security implications by implementing endpoint security reduce the risks of data leaks.

Monitoring how the cloud is deployed and used can provide valuable insight regarding future trends and issues. Additionally, managing users and licenses are important for effective use of the cloud. Tools such as unified endpoint management can make this process significantly easier.

Lastly, staying informed on changes and improvements in cloud computing technology will help businesses use it to its full potential.

It's more than just economical
While lower IT costs is certainly one of the most beneficial aspects of the cloud, that's not the sole reason businesses are deciding to adopt it, according to a recent  article by Guy Clapperton​ for The Guardian.

Phil Bagnall, head of operations for the children's luggage manufacturer Trunki, noted the main reason for adopting the cloud was because the company did not want to run its own IT department as it grew. Aside from not being cornered by IT demands and the need to hire skilled staff, the problems associated with legacy technology also created an unnecessary burden.

"A good cloud provider offering applications (and they don't all - some specialize in storage space or in other elements) will update software without bothering the end user; it's just there next time they log on," noted Clapperton.