Why Cloud Computing Initiatives Fail — and What to Do About It

According to a recent industry white paper by IT web site CIO, 60 per cent of organisations report lengthy delays implementing the initial phases of cloud computing services, such as standardisation, consolidation and virtualisation. Of organisations that do make it past these initial stages, 47 per cent face “significant roadblocks” transitioning from virtualisation to the Holy Grail: automation— the shift from manual, human processes of IT to literal “hands-free” automatic electronic procedures. Here are some of the reasons why organisations hit these cloud computing roadblocks — and how they can overcome them.

Cloud Computing Obstacles to Overcome

The majority of IT executives and project owners want the same capabilities from cloud computing services, specifically IaaS solutions: 90 per cent seek solutions designed to anticipate growth and assess bandwidth as well as physical infrastructure. Every organisation works toward the same requirements and each trips up for the same reasons, namely:

  • Lack of skilled IT employees to see implementation through and maintain a relationship with the cloud computing services provider
  • Poor infrastructure readiness for cloud computing services
  • Inadequate budget for size of implementation

Qualified cloud computing services providers can pinpoint the right technology and systems to help customers achieve their goals. And they can work with organisations through much of the planning and testing. They cannot, however, create the organisation’s momentum and internal resources that help organisations cross the chasm from cloud computing services initiative to reality.

Steps to Success

Addressing roadblocks before you’ve started on your cloud computing journey is the key to actually seeing through every step of the process. With preparation for each step, you will have the tools, processes and buy-in in place to execute all the way through to complete cloud computing implementation. Include these steps as you plan to make cloud computing services a reality:

  • Recruit talent now. InfoWorld reports that many IT managers encounter difficulty with the limited market of cloud computing developers and administrators available — and the salaries these technical experts expect. Start looking for these individuals now to include them in business cases and budget projections.
  • Assess infrastructure readiness. More than likely, your organisation must upgrade areas of its existing network to perform adequately with new cloud computing services. A good cloud computing services provider — one that has an IT and a managed services background to handle your technical and management needs — can conduct an audit of your infrastructure to point out which areas might need to be replaced, upgraded or retired before you implement cloud computing services. They will also give you a reasonable timeframe for cloud migration that addresses these potential infrastructure concerns.
  • Build the case for automation. Many cloud computing services initiatives stall before the automation phase because executives find virtualisation “good enough.” Demonstrate why the status quo doesn’t cut the mustard. Build realistic budget predictions and business impact analysis so you can demonstrate ROI for full automation.
  • Identify and nominate an executive sponsor.  Like any large initiative, an executive who “gets it” can prove to be your most valuable asset in achieving the goals of your cloud computing services. These individuals might be the CEO, the CFO or the Sales Director — anyone who can see the ultimate business drivers of cloud computing services. Find one early on. Demonstrate the tremendous value his or her division can expect from the solution.
  • Test the solution. Every successful technology project comes by way of testing, documenting and validating before launch. Plan to validate network, capacity and storage requirements and test all systems, especially for that final automation phase. There will most likely be hiccups, but you’ll be able to address and correct them before cloud computing launch to avoid an outage or other disruptive incident.

Has your organisation stopped short of going “full cloud”? Which of these tips have you used to overcome your cloud computing obstacles?

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