Moving applications and storage to the cloud and getting value from the migration is something that many businesses deal with on a daily basis. Companies are looking to get the most return on investment when they deploy cloud solutions. But how can they do this? FCW staff writer Frank Konkel recently laid out several steps businesses can take when moving to an enterprise cloud.

Firstly, companies must realize that simply moving to the cloud isn't the benchmark they should be shooting for. They should be aiming to get the most out of it that they can.

"It doesn't take much to move to a cloud solution anymore," Joe Klimavicz, CIO of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, stated at the recent 2013 Federal Cloud Innovation Forum. "But you want to maximize your investment through the cloud."

Klimavicz pointed to key steps companies need to take to optimize the system and get the most back from it:

  • Governance: Laying out who has control over certain files or systems is important before heading to the cloud
  • Architecture: Integrating cloud and traditional systems can reduce problems in deployment
  • Security: Making sure that the cloud service provider offers security tools, along with implementing a company's own can reduce risks
  • Deployment: Planning for the project and marketing it when moving to the cloud can help ease the transition

App Migration: necessary evil of moving to the cloud
One thing companies need to be aware of when migrating to the cloud is how their applications will run once on those systems. HostReview contributor Pat O'Day offered a checklist that businesses can go through to ensure application migration goes smoothly.

One important step is to make sure that applications do not need to change licensing provisions when heading to the cloud. Ensuring that the cloud the business is moving to supports the necessary systems and adjusting accordingly when needed could help avoid major headaches down the road.

Observing how applications are connected to each other in the physical server environment is also key. Separating apps that work in concert with each other could decrease system efficiency. Therefore, businesses should be working to move programs and files that are often used together.

Finally, selecting a cloud provider that has the same connectivity that a business currently has is important. If not, a company could run into performance issues with applications that were running on different connectivity speeds in the physical environment. Discussing this with the vendor before deployment is crucial.