The cloud has become almost synonymous with computing. According to Computer Weekly editor Bryan Glick, 2014 could possibly be the "year of the cloud." But with new technology comes an increased need for understanding. Enterprise cloud offerings may be viable for businesses, but switching to them is more complicated than simply "plugging and playing."

The cloud is going to be a rapid disruption over the next few years for the server market. Glick said that it will "increasingly become the default delivery method for new IT projects, not to mention a platform for greater innovation." Here are three things to consider before making the inevitable transition to cloud computing and storage:

1) Expectations of performance
There are many advantages to seeking out private cloud services. Enhanced performance is certainly one of them – public clouds use shared resources, which can slow down bigger operations that need more from their servers. But while one of the perks of off-site service is scalability, it is important to outline expectations. According to LogicWorks​' Jake Gardner, advanced preparedness is key when making the leap to enterprise-class cloud computing. Knowing how much storage space or processing power the business in question is going to require while also considering the limitations of the cloud should be the first step for any organization planning on embracing this technology.

2) Legal obligations
It is also important to understand what information is going to end up in the cloud. In many situations, public cloud architecture might not even be up to the privacy standards some data demands. According to Computerworld contributor Nancy Gohring, Nokia Research needed to implement private cloud infrastructures due to the sensitive nature of the projects being studied. Nokia systems architect Alex Bederov told Gohring that the organizations legal department forbid them to use public cloud services because of the security risks that could result. If sensitive information is getting sent off-site, an enterprise IaaS cloud structure is the best option.

3) Cost
As mentioned previously, private cloud services are scalable – that is one of the biggest parts of their appeal. But in order to make these services as cost-effective as possible, it is – again – important to have a deep understanding of how they will be used. According to TechTarget, Andi Mann, Kurt Milne and Jeanna Morain, authors of "Visible Ops Private Cloud: From Virtualization to Private Cloud in Four Practical Steps," a strategy needs to be developed in order to make sure allocations are made properly with the cloud service provider.