In a recent report from uptime software, Alex Bewley, the company's CTO, said cloud computing can significantly impact a company for the better by reducing IT costs and improving operational efficiency. However, Bewley also said a mismanaged cloud plan can prove disastrous.

According to the report, cloud sprawl and platform lock-in are two issues that could detract from the cloud's effectiveness if organizations do not plan for the technology and manage it well.

Cloud sprawl occurs when organizations find themselves subscribing to so many cloud services they can no longer manage or budget their applications. This is an easy trap to fall into, as the ease of use and inexpensiveness of SaaS simplifies the process of subscribing to new programs.

Platform lock-in is also a challenge for organizations, as some service level agreements will lock a businesses into working with one cloud provider with no ability to change services if a problem arises.

"CIOs, IT managers and system administrators alike need a sound plan along with deep performance monitoring in place before moving to the cloud," said Bewley.

According to a recent report from Windows IT Pro, 2011 will be critical year for cloud computing growth because the technology became mainstream in 2010.