Cloud technology has been touted as the next big frontier for business data management and is already generating powerful tremors of change in the business landscape as nearly 70% of all major companies across the world are now using cloud services and many others are looking to transition to cloud-based ERP and CRM.

Unfortunately, the boon of ultra-efficient cloud data management is also accompanied by the bane of shadow IT. Shadow IT is essentially any hardware or software that has not been officially authorized for access by the central IT department of a company. With the influx of cloud computing and BYOD policies, the sphere of influence of shadow IT has considerably expanded.

Luckily, this problem can easily be curbed by empowering your CIO to take a more hands-on approach in strategizing and implementing a cloud solution within your existing business systems. Let us evaluate a few essential steps that can help ensure your IT department integrates and utilizes cloud computing successfully.

 Understanding Your Business Requirements

The primary cause of failure of most cloud services in organizations is the lack of strategy and foresight involved in its implementation. It is imperative to take the time to understand how a cloud service can meet your business requirements and deliver the security and compliance standards you are looking for.

It is also recommended to note down the network usage and scale of cloud implementation needed by your organization. This will help you pick a more pragmatic and cost-effective cloud service that matches your business need.

Aligning Your Cloud Service with Your Business Architecture

The next step involves building a smart architecture for cloud service integration into your existing business model. Choosing a service that converges well with your existing infrastructure will help you perfectly optimize your business workflow.

Implementing the Cloud Solution

Now that you have laid out your glorious plans, the real challenge comes in the form of the cloud implementation process. As a consumer, your job is to ensure that the cloud service vendor has all the tools and expertise needed to deliver on his contract and customize his service as per your requirements. As a business, you need to ensure you answer these needs of your customers.

Getting the Right Management

Although cloud technology is all about graduating to simplicity and reducing the burden on company infrastructure, there is still a complex environment with constantly shifting mechanisms that need vigilance to run smoothly. Hence, simplicity and complexity are two sides of the same coin when it comes to a cloud service implementation.

Whether it is a hybrid or full-scale cloud solution you opt for, you still need to exercise a lot of control and ensure your company’s IT department is on track with managing and interfacing it with your business architecture at every level.

Regardless of whether you choose an SAP, Oracle or a Microsoft Dynamics product, it is important to ensure that the security measures offered by a cloud solution are adequate enough to safeguard your confidential business data.

Research for this post was provided by Advanced Manufacturing Software – providers of manufacturing ERP for the automotive, equipment manufacturing, and high tech industries.