Beta testing and proof of concept pilots
Once you've done the necessary due diligence, you're ready to get started with beta testing and proof of concept pilots with vendors. In an area as hyped as the cloud there's really no better way to learn than hands-on. These basic best practices will help lay the foundation for a successful cloud strategy.
After you've validated the initial feasibility and basic value proposition of the cloud, there are some additional things you'll need to consider. You'll want to make sure your management and monitoring tools can access the cloud-based applications and that cloud resources, in turn, can access data center services that remain behind the firewall. Users will need a simple yet secure interface to cloud applications for controlled self-service provisioning, scaling, powering on and off, etc.
You'll also want to think about how you'd bring an application back from the cloud if it needs to return to the data center or if there's another cloud that becomes more compelling based on business or technical requirements.
Ellen Rubin is founder and Vice President of Products at CloudSwitch. Ellen is an experienced entrepreneur with a proven track record in leading strategy, market positioning and go-to-market for fast-growing companies. Prior to founding CloudSwitch, Ellen was vice president of marketing at Netezza. As a member of the early management team at Netezza, Ellen helped grow the company to over $125 million in revenues and a successful IPO in 2007. Ellen defined and created broad market acceptance of a new category, "data warehouse appliances" and led market strategy, product marketing, complementary technology relationships and marketing communications.
Prior to Netezza, Ellen founded Manna, an Israeli and Boston-based developer of real-time personalization software. Ellen played a key role in raising over $18 million in venture financing from leading U.S. and Israeli venture capital firms, recruiting the U.S.-based management team and defining product and market strategy. Ellen began her career as a marketing strategy consultant at Booz, Allen & Hamilton. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard College. Ellen can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org.