How to Use Cloud: 5 Ways to Prepare for a Cloud Environment

The decision to purchase a cloud environment is exciting and new. Previous blog posts this month have provided guidelines for how to use the cloud environment, choosing the correct cloud and how to secure your resources. You’ve chosen a vendor and are ready to implement, but there are always those lingering questions. What if the deployment doesn’t go smoothly? What if your applications aren’t executed correctly? This article gives you five easy ways to begin preparing for your cloud environment before you implement.

1. TRAINING YOUR EMPLOYEES

The key to a successful internal implementation is making sure that you clearly communicate expectations and give employees the tools they need to perform additional job functions. Creating an environment for your staff to learn how their cloud works, how it will impact their day-to-day workflow and laying out the effects the new resource will have on their position can help smooth the transition to your new cloud. 

2. APPLICATION LICENSE AGREEMENT

A successful appstore comes with careful planning and attention. Determine which applications your end users and employees will need and decide whether you will offer these to them. Once you have a list of what you would like to place in your appstore, you will need to obtain a vendor service license. This license will give you the rights to resell these specific applications to your end users.

If you will be bringing legacy software into your cloud, it is important to research what kind of process will be needed to make it work with your new infrastructure. Talk with your cloud vendor to discuss what you will need to do to ensure a smooth transition from your traditional hardware to cloud infrastructure. 

3. DECIDING WHERE TO PUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE

Deciding where to put your infrastructure is just as important as deciding what kind of cloud infrastructure to purchase. The location of your cloud environment can directly affect the quality of your cloud resources. Choose a location that is far enough away that it won’t be affected by the same power outage or weather phenomena, but close enough that it won’t produce latency issues and drag down the quality of your cloud.

4. TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT DISASTER RECOVERY

Your disaster recovery plan should be a standing document that you have at your disposal, ready to go for an emergency situation. If you already have this document, this is the perfect opportunity to take a second look at it and add in sections regarding your new cloud environment and how they will be handled if a crisis should arise. If you don’t have a disaster recovery document, this is a great time to create one for your organization that includes your new hardware and software additions. 

5. COMMUNICATE CLEARLY

Communicating a clear message is critical when implementing any new process. Be able to explain what cloud is, knowing that not all of your employees will be open to the change. Be transparent about why you are transitioning to the cloud and how it will benefit your business, and highlight the flexibility a cloud environment offers. Being able to communicate clearly the goals of the organization and how your employees will be instruments to its success can make all the difference in employee morale and, therefore, a seamless implementation process and adoption.

Though there are many ways to begin preparing your organization for a cloud environment, these five: training employees, obtaining vendor service licenses, deciding where to place your infrastructure, preparing a disaster recovery plan and communicating clearly, can help your transition to the cloud be as seamless as possible. You have now learned how to effectively determine if a cloud model is right for you, choose an environment that best suits your needs and successfully secure it. The next section of this series will guide you through calculating the business value of a cloud environment.