Cloud Requirements: Must-Haves for Migration


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Cloud Requirements: Must-Haves for Migration

  1. 1. Cloud Requirements: Must-Haves for Migration Focus Research ©2012 All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Cloud Requirements: Must-Haves for MigrationWith so many vendors jumping on the cloud-computing bandwagon, the choices can be mind-numbing.Companies looking to move to The Cloud have more choices than ever, and must weigh their optionscarefully. Once a business has assessed its needs, the team tasked with selecting a vendor must researchthe possibilities, prepare a short list of viable options, then meet with prospective vendors to find theright match. So, what finally sells a business on a particular solution? What must-haves need to be in themessaging that make companies buy? The question was recently posed at “What are thecritical requirements that must be met in order for a customer to buy a cloud solution?”As a small-business owner in search of solution, Thompson Writing & Editing’s Lynn Maria Thompson hasdevised a five-point checklist for determining a winner: “1. Security: How do I know that my data will be safe from hackers on the cloud solution’s servers? “2. Backups: Will their solution back up my files regularly in case anything happens to the primary server on which my data is stored? “3. Continuity: How do I know that the company will stay in business and not leave me permanently unable to access the data I’ve stored with them? “4. Affordability: I’d want a solution that’s reasonably priced and [a vendor that] would not suddenly jack up the prices. “5. Portability: If I decided to switch to a different provider, I’d want to make sure that the company I was switching from would not hold my files hostage.”Thompson would, of course, also look for what she calls “the basic benefits of a cloud solution: storageof large amounts of data, access by multiple users in different locations, and speed of access to files. Ican pay for speedy Internet access, but if the cloud solution’s servers aren’t also speedy, that could be abottleneck. The cloud solutions who can provide all those things will be those who succeed.”BrainWave’s Andrew S. Baker has his own shortlist: “To be successful,” he says, “a vendor’s cloud-basedsolution must offer one or more of the following: • “Reduce the entry costs for deploying and using the solution in question vs. an on-premise alternative.Cloud Requirements: Must-Haves for Migration Focus Research ©2012 2
  3. 3. • “Allow the organization to operate more efficiently or with greater flexibility than a corresponding on-premise alternative. • “Reduce reliance on in-house technology professionals to deploy and/or manage. • “Provide industry standard formats for export and data backup. • “Provide a solid SLA for uptime, along with a comprehensive self-service incident-management system • “Provide solid price protection and ample advance warning of price increases.”Both Mimecast’s Justin Pirie and SummaLogic’s Robert Keahey weighed in with their specificrequirements for a SaaS-based cloud solution. For Pirie, the most basic requirement is a solution that“meets the needs as specified with the requisite security to protect the data it stores. Those are ‘tablestakes’ necessary to even start the conversation.” He sums up his strategy, saying he looks for a vendor“with track record of innovation; [that] participates in an ecosystem of other applications, preferably withan extensible API; [and with] great UI/UX and a clear focus on the user.”Keahey likes Pirie’s points, and adds that he would include “self-serviceability” to this list. “SaaS holds thepromise to reduce upfront and ongoing costs,” he says. “So I would suggest to customers to focus onyour third bullet (UI/UX) with an eye on the quantity and quality of self-service administration provided bythe SaaS application. Generally, the more I can have the end user do themselves, the lower the cost.”Has your company recently purchased a cloud solution? What, specifically, tipped the scales in favor of thesolution you selected? Is your business assessing offers from cloud vendors? What do you need to hearfrom a vendor that will get you to sign on the dotted line? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Alec Wagner is a writer, editor, custom content specialist, and content marketing professional. A former managing editor of, he has trained his eye on the enterprise technology space for more than a dozen years. A longtime digital nomad, he divides his time between San Francisco and the South of France. He remembers to thank The Cloud daily for enabling his globetrotting ways. Mr. Wagner also enjoys lively debates about how warring tribes (be it business vs. IT, dev vs. ops, or sales vs. marketing) can find ways to work together better. He is of the opinion that the old chestnut, “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘team,’ ” is quite hackneyed, yet altogether true.Cloud Requirements: Must-Haves for Migration Focus Research ©2012 3