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It’s hard to pay any attention to the tech world (including our own blog) without hearing a lot about the cloud. Just like reading about the latest iPhone or Xbox, it’s hard to read about all the different options without itching to dive in on your own. Often, that impulse can lead to snap decisions and, while that might be fine for your cell phone, it’s a little more serious when you’re thinking about moving your organization’s files to the cloud.

Here are seven things you’ll want to think about as you’re kicking the tires on cloud options.

Consumerization: With the cloud revolution happening as quickly as it is, people on your team have likely been exploring their own options for cloud storage. They’ve found solutions that allow them to access their data in the ways they prefer. If you’re looking to gain buy-in from your employees (and you should be), you’re going to need to find a solution that works at least as well as whatever they’ve already chosen for themselves.

Complete Solution: Similarly, if you’re asking your team to adopt a new cloud storage system, that system needs to be able to handle all of the needs your company has. The first time a member of your team can’t figure out how to share a file on the new system but just knows how to do it on the system they use at home, they’re going to try and use that system instead. To make sure any new system gets adopted, it has to be a real solution for every storage problem your organization has.

Integration: When you find a solution that lets you store every type of file you could ever dream of, it’s still useless if you can’t do anything with that data. Finding a cloud solution that plays nicely with the rest of your environment makes it easier for everyone using the system and increases the likelihood that you’ll see the kind of adoption you’re looking for.

Ease of use: We might be starting to sound a bit like a broken record at this point, but it’s worth repeating again – if your system isn’t easy to use, people aren’t going to use it. It’s tempting to focus on all the technical advantages a new system can offer, but don’t forget to consider how simple it is to use on a day-to-day basis.

Manageability: Ease of use on the part of the end user is important, but it’s also important that the system works for whoever’s managing it. From controlling and monitoring who has access to which files, to making sure that everything is operating as expected, your ability to manage a cloud solution is important to its success.

Security: While you want to make sure that members of your team have access to the documents they need, you also need to make sure everyone else stays out. A cloud solution should offer security options that allow you to keep your data safe and gives you the option to keep your data secure if there are any changes to your team members.

Compliance: Security isn’t just for your organization. It’s important for your clients and any other companies you might be working with. Making sure that a cloud solution is able to comply with the standards you need to do business is a critical aspect of your search for a storage option.

Obviously, the specific needs of your company will play a big part in the decision you make on cloud-based technologies. Keeping these seven big ideas in mind can put you on the right track toward choosing a solution that works for you.

These seven considerations were initially featured in SkyDrive – Loaded with Possibilities, a webinar presented by Aptera’s Enterprise Architect Mark Gordon. To view an archived presentation of the webinar, click here.