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  • The Midmarket And SMB Guide To Cloud Computing

    FierceCIOAn eBook from the editors ofNovember 2015

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    2 Introduction

    4 Understanding Your Cloud Options: SaaS, IaaS And PaaS, Public And Private

    7 Sponsored Content: Why CIOs Should Make the Transition to the Cloud

    8 The Case For Hybrid Cloud

    10 Why Security Is Almost Certainly Better In The Cloud

    13 The Case For Hybrid Cloud

    Thank you to our sponsor:

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  • Introduction

    Understanding Your Cloud Options: SaaS, IaaS And PaaS, Public And Private

    Sponsored Content: Why CIOs Should Make the Transition to the Cloud

    Is Cloud Cheaper For SMBs?

    Why Security Is Almost Certainly Better In The Cloud

    The Case For Hybrid Cloud

     The Midmarket And SMB Guide To Cloud Computing // November 2015

    An eBook from the editors ofshare: FierceCIO

    The arthritic mail server of Acme Enterprises, an imaginary mid-sized company, broke down again this morning, triggering an eruption of wailing and desk pounding among distraught employees.

    The owner, disturbed by the spectacle of otherwise composed professionals pulling out their hair, looked away and her eyes rested on the pile of brochures from cloud vendors that has been rising on a corner of her desk for years.

    They all promise to simplify computing, improve software reliability, tighten data security and slash IT costs. As she caught a glimpse of the systems administrator barricading himself in his office while a mob of office workers banged on his door, the owner decided it’s time to look into this cloud computing thing. But where does one start? And how do you make the right choices?

    A good beginning starts with an assessment of what’s

    broken, what you hope to accomplish with a cloud service and how much money you can spend.

    “Companies need to do soul searching and understand what their key challenges, needs and requirements are, where they need help, and what kind of money they are able and willing to spend on some of these things,” said Bob O’Donnell, president and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research. “It requires introspection from an organizational perspective.”

    Experts recommended seeking feedback and advice from multiple quarters, starting with your employees.

    “Learn from your users who are likely to use some cloud services, the so-called ‘shadow IT,’” said Laurent Lachal, a senior analyst of Infrastructure Solutions in Ovum’s Software Group.

    It’s also a good idea to consider hiring vendor- independent advisors, and to reach out to and even partner with industry brethren that are on the same quest.

    Introduction By Juan C. Perez

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  • Introduction

    Understanding Your Cloud Options: SaaS, IaaS And PaaS, Public And Private

    Sponsored Content: Why CIOs Should Make the Transition to the Cloud

    Is Cloud Cheaper For SMBs?

    Why Security Is Almost Certainly Better In The Cloud

    The Case For Hybrid Cloud

     The Midmarket And SMB Guide To Cloud Computing // November 2015

    An eBook from the editors ofshare: FierceCIO

    “SMBs should network with peers and work on projects collaboratively across companies. That way they can pool skills and make smarter decisions,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group.

    You and your staff need to do that kind of homework, because cloud computing adoption is rarely as simple and straightforward as grinning vendors promise.

    “SMBs can’t afford or compete with larger firms for in-house expertise. They are mostly at the mercy of the vendors and that seldom ends well,” Enderle said.

    Another common mistake by SMBs: Focusing excessively on cost, which often leads them to services that are “oversold and inadequate for their needs,” he said.

    Once you start meeting with and evaluating prospective cloud providers, experts recommend looking into elements such as these:

    • How good is the provider’s security technology for preventing unauthorized access to your data? How expansive or limited is its use of encryption?

    • If you decide to switch to another vendor, will the provider make it easy for you to retrieve your data? In industry lingo: Make sure the provider’s data portability policy and procedures are friendly, so that you don’t find yourself afflicted by the dreaded “vendor lock in” curse.

    • Will you have to spend money upgrading your local infrastructure, such as PCs and their operating systems, networking hardware or broadband capacity, to use a provider’s cloud service?

    • What service level guarantees is a vendor committing to contractually regarding things like outages and slowdowns, and what relief are you entitled to, such as credits and reimbursements?

    • Will you require custom integration work in order to link the cloud service with any systems you keep in your offices, such as the core software you use to run your business?

    • Is the provider’s product roadmap in sync with what you’ll need from the company going forward in terms of future features and capabilities?

    • And last but not least, you must verify the financial stability and reputation of each provider to decrease the chances of doing business with a company that ends up getting acquired or that flat out goes out of business. n

    “Companies need to do soul searching and understand what their key challenges, needs and requirements are, where they need help, and what kind of money they are able and willing to spend on some of these things.”

    BOB O’DONNELL, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF ANALYST AT TECHNALYSIS RESEARCH

    >> Introduction

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  • Introduction

    Understanding Your Cloud Options: SaaS, IaaS And PaaS, Public And Private

    Sponsored Content: Why CIOs Should Make the Transition to the Cloud

    Is Cloud Cheaper For SMBs?

    Why Security Is Almost Certainly Better In The Cloud

    The Case For Hybrid Cloud

     The Midmarket And SMB Guide To Cloud Computing // November 2015

    An eBook from the editors ofshare: FierceCIO

    Understanding Your Cloud Options: SaaS, IaaS And PaaS, Public And Private

    The Acme Enterprises email server went back up, people returned to their desks and the system admin’s life was spared—for now. There’s no way around it: The hardware is decrepit, the software ancient. It’s an unsafe, creaky system.

    The company’s owner began methodically examining the brochures on her desk. She also opened for the first time a folder in her email inbox where she had been parking marketing pitches for years. She started doing online research. Soon, she was overwhelmed by all the acronyms and buzzwords, myriad descriptions and definitions, and available products.

    So let’s try to give her a hand.

    At a high level, the “cloud” refers to a variety of computing services that a vendor hosts on its data centers and provides to customers over the Internet, billed using a variety of methods, such as monthly or annual subscriptions, or by usage.

    A big selling point is that cloud providers own and maintain the hardware and software systems on which their cloud services run, so customers don’t spend money and effort personally doing so in their offices, or “on-premises” in industry parlance.

    There are three main types of cloud computing services: Software, infrastructure

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