At a recent forum featuring executives from multiple industries, Jeffrey Kaplan, an enterprise cloud consultant, said he spoke with many different CIOs and business decision makers who said they were being pressured into adopting enterprise-class cloud computing. Executives therefore needed to think of a plan for getting their data to the cloud, and fast.

"The vast majority of the attendees were trying to regain control over clandestine adoption of public cloud services by renegade business units and disgruntled employees," he wrote on Datamation. "Although the best way to combat the growth of 'shadow IT' in their organizations seemed to be clear, they were uncertain how to design and implement private cloud alternatives to meet their internal needs and keep pace with external demands."

In fact, a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that organizations with annual revenues of $500 million or more have 15 to 30 percent of their new spending on the cloud happening outside of the IT budget. Chris Curran, principal for technology strategy and innovation at PwC, said the data in these clouds is suddenly not with the organization anymore and businesses are needing to figure out best practices for how to handle this fact on the fly.

There's also a lot of confusion in the industry, according to Kaplan, as there are many deployment interpretations for the private cloud. For this reason, he said organizations must strive to define which areas are key to them.

"First, they need to clearly define what a private cloud means to their organization," Kaplan said. "What are the primary business needs they are trying to satisfy and the key private cloud attributes which the organization is seeking to attain. Second, they must identify the gaps in their current computing environment that need to be filled by a private cloud and ask which of these gaps are best addressed with on-premise resources vs. external cloud services?"

After this, organizations must figure out the best approach to testing the components of their private clouds and implement tools that measure how the cloud is working for the company.

Testing a necessity to ensure a properly working cloud
Organizations may want to start out small and keep up with regular testing, according to what InformationWeek's Jim Ditmore said. By starting here, criteria for certain projects can be tightened in line with customer expectations and there should be improvements shown very quickly.

Once there has been a private cloud established, the cost savings and advantages should be verified and reported on to executives. Kaplan agreed with this, citing return on investment as a necessary measure for enterprise-class cloud computing.

"Be sure to implement methodologies and tools to measure the impact of the private cloud deployment from a technical, operational and business perspective to demonstrate the ROI and develop a new set of objectives for the next round of private cloud plans," he said.

After all of this is in place, organizations should start to see a more in-control and advantageous cloud computing environment.