Cloud computing has afforded businesses with more agility, streamlined processes and lower IT costs. With no signs of slowing down, the cloud is poised to make its presence known for businesses that have not yet made the decision to adopt it.

While reduced IT expenses is one of the most beneficial aspects of the cloud, it is not the main reason why many businesses decide to deploy cloud solutions, according to The Guardian contributor Guy Clapperton.

Trunki, a company that manufactures children's luggage, adopted the cloud because it did not want to run its own IT department as the company grew. By using cloud-based solutions, Trunki was able avoid the complex demands of IT and reoccuring problems associated with legacy technology.

Whether companies decide to utilize managed service providers or build off services offered by IaaS cloud providers, following various steps can help businesses ensure a successful cloud deployment, according to CloudTweak​s contributor Brian King.

Steps for successful cloud deployment
Before making the switch, organizations must identify which business infrastructures, systems and processes can be outsourced, and which can be kept in house. Calculating the costs and savings that will be incurred from deploying cloud solutions is essential in the long run. Legacy hardware is often expensive to maintain and requires replacement after several years of wear and tear, which is not a problem associated with the cloud.

Due to the fact cloud computing has ignited security concerns, it has become standard procedure to ensure data is protected and secured according to compliance requirements. In the healthcare industry, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance must be strictly adhered to, whereas Sarbanes-Oxley compliance is mandated for financial systems. Both require high levels of protection and SSL encryption policies.

With the various platforms available, businesses and IT must know the differences between the three main models – i.e., public, private and hybrid.

  • Private – hosted internally to employees and provides high levels of security.
  • Public – a popular platform among software-as-a-service providers because of how easy it is to offer widespread services (e.g., Google Drive, Facebook).
  • Hybrid – arguably offers the most effective deployment, allowing businesses to use public cloud computing resources to scale quicker.

A service-level agreement guarantees businesses that in the event of downtime, operations will quickly be restored and the cloud's performance will be 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.

"Depending what your main use of the cloud is, whether it's public or private, it's important to monitor both the status of the implementation as well as monitoring the usage that it is experiencing," King wrote.

Monitoring how the cloud is deployed and used can provide valuable insight in regard to future trends and issues. Additionally, managing users and licenses are important for effective use of the cloud. Staying informed on the latest development and advancements in cloud computing will help keep businesses up to speed and make sure they're utilizing the cloud to its full potential.