My earlier blog on CIOs being forced to give cloud options a serious consideration was followed by how different types of organizations are reacting to cloud options in the Enterprise applications space. I went further enumerating our experiences with respect to customers with PeopleSoft ERP since that’s where it all started for SOAIS.

Industry trends in the last couple of years have established the way forward for applications (SaaS), platforms (PaaS) and infrastructure (IaaS). Cloud technologies are generally becoming accepted as an optimal way to share a pool of configurable computing resources. The CIO world dabbling in their Cloud journey have begun with low risk, less critical, peripheral applications which is easy to get stakeholder buy-in. Am attempting to enumerate the top 5 considerations for customers to commence their evaluation of the Cloud phenomenon. These focus areas are guiding principles garnered from experience advising SOAIS’ clients in the Oracle space in the last few years.

Looking for answers to these areas may help charter your cloud adoption strategy:

  1. Business – is the current technology backbone supporting the core business of the organization efficiently and providing competitive advantage? Is your IT organization or infrastructure flexible to enable the organization charter its strategic initiatives for tomorrow? Are there cloud technologies or applications that can help you better achieve the organization goals in the long term?
  2. Security – are the Information Security objectives for your enterprise related to Confidentiality, Integrity & Availability in congruence with today’s cloud paradigm? Do the Cloud Vendors universally provide assurances that your information is appropriately safeguarded?
  3. Platform integrity – your journey to the cloud could be implemented in phases and over a period of time as cloud adoption becomes more and more acceptable. In this transition period, are the platforms on which your current mission critical applications built, flexible to seamlessly interact with the new age cloud applications? Will the hardware, software, networking infrastructure need a major overhaul?
  4. People / skills – most on-premise applications or technologies have been around for 10-20 years and skills applicable to them are in a mature stage of their lifecycle. Availability or mindset on what it entails is either in-house or in the job markets. Applications and supporting technologies moving to the Cloud needs everybody to re-skill to new areas leaving the past to where it belongs – the past !
  5. User Maturity – All IT systems are in constant change of flux and management of this change is crucial to adoption & fully harnessing the capabilities of the IT system. Will users in your organization need training or special change management strategies to adopt to cloud applications? Cloud applications with intuitive UIs and modern look & feel lower this risk.

These above focus areas could be a great starting point for you to start thinking in this direction and gain better awareness to where you want to go in this space.Contributed by Prashant

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