Many enterprise companies want to move to the cloud, but do they know how to? While cloud-based services can help many large and mid-size organizations, it is not always easy for them to understand how to switch. Luckily, these issues are relatively simple, and once understood they can be immediately rectified. Part of the reason that many organizations ignore cloud options until late in the game is because they are unfamiliar with the products and services that are part of the private and hybrid cloud Luckily, there are many ways for them to get exactly the kind of power that they need from cloud-based services.

Cloud servers are the future
The cloud is so essential that Chris Drumgoole, chief operating officer at GE, firmly believes that, "cloud [computing] is the operating model of the future." He also said that the purpose of moving to the cloud is not simply to use new services that may be useful for an organization, but to fundamentally change internal procedures. The kind of flexibility and mobility that the cloud generates for organizations that use it is a major paradigm shift and those that have not yet made the transition should basket the best use of their time as they move toward it to understand exactly what kind of changes they are in for in order to take best advantage of the cloud.

Fundamentally, organizations should consider cloud adoption to be the mark of a transitional period where they take on new business features and re-imagine their back-end processes. Utilizing "DevOps," the new phenomenon that bridges the gap between application development and operations, is an important part of this step. Practical application of cloud-based services means savings for organizations. There is nothing that can make the cloud work better for a company than understanding exactly how the organization currently conducts business, and then adapting both the applications they use and the internal protocols they follow in order to create a new vision of how they operate into being. This kind of restructuring can create an incredible amount of value. In order to get the best ROI possible, companies should consider it their obligation to get conduct DevOps, according to noted cloud expert David Linthicum.

Security should be a priority
Utilizing the best possible service providers that allow for safer data storage should also be a major consideration for organizations moving to the cloud. Providers that support elements like encryption and other state-of-the-art technologies that prevent intruders from gaining access to sensitive data on servers are important. While rumors have circulated that cloud deployments are insecure, private and hybrid clouds are exactly as secure as they are made to be. If a company wants security in their cloud-based services, all they have to do is ask. Just as with privately hosted networks that many organizations still run on, the only thing that makes the difference between a secure and insecure server is the expertise of the system administrator running it.

Organizations that have not yet adopted the cloud should feel the pressure building as many other organizations rush ahead to make use of this new way of doing business. The best way to implement cloud-based services is to examine how a company currently works and tailor the services purchased to the needs of the organization. By examining workflow and making acquisitions with that in mind, a company can see a serious return on investment. Improving efficiency is the most powerful way a company can get more for less from its workforce, and the cloud is geared to do just that.