Every day you see press releases on “the NEXT BIG cloud computing firm.” It’s like every time someone jumps on the Game of Thrones bandwagon and suddenly thinks they’re cool. But when you want to bring in a cloud provider, the problem isn’t finding a firm who can give you the capacity you need – there are about 1,000 of them a Google search away. What you really need to do is find one that actually adds value and not just another server. Here’s one example. Say you’re a multinational company with offices in the U.S. and Europe, and because of the Patriot Act you want to keep data from the EU across the pond. If you work with a cloud provider with data centers on both sides of the Atlantic, then you can keep your overseas data away from Uncle Sam. You should also look for cloud providers that allow your company to use the architectures and tools you’re already using. Why? Because nothing gets your project beheaded quicker than telling an executive they’ll have to learn something new. And let’s be serious, you don’t want to teach them how to set up another dashboard, do you? If everyone’s all nice and comfy using VMware’s vCloud Director to manage their servers, don’t make them learn something new. In the end, don’t assume every cloud provider is the same – they’re not. You should get actual value from your cloud provider. If you just want someone to store your files and sit there, buy another server yourself.