More and more hospitals, clinics, small/medium businesses, schools and government entities are starting to look to cloud services to help manage some of their information technology needs. We now have enough data indicating that a move to the cloud can make organization's IT efforts more efficient and effective. With interest in cloud services rising, how can service providers help customers better understand cloud adoption? The following are some simple things that can assist in the adoption process:
First, help customers understand that the cloud, in and of itself, is the delivery mechanism for the particular service(s) they may be interested in. As an example, if a hospital is looking to store images, then they are looking for infrastructure as a service, where they do not have to have equipment onsite to store their data. The delivery mechanism would be the cloud or more simply put a server in a data center. Knowing where the cloud is located sounds fundamental but is critical in making adoption easy.
Second, help customers understand how they will get to the cloud. In other words, do they have enough internet bandwidth to transmit the data to the cloud. This will depend on the amount of data being transmitted and the type of services the end user is receiving from the cloud. There are times when a simple DSL connection can transmit the data needed, but most often a more robust broadband connection is needed for uninterrupted data transmission.
Next, service level agreements (SLA's) communicating how the service provider will monitor and support the services delivered via the cloud is essential. Examples would be "Availability" or the proportion of time the service will be up and running. Normally this runs in the range of 99.99%. Also "Planned Downtime" or the time the service will be down for updates and maintenance. Normally a planned downtime would happen during off hours or the very early morning hours. This document needs to be reviewed and agreed upon with the entire end-user team.
Cloud adoption does not have to be difficult. Helping customers map out and understand a simple plan of services, bandwidth requirements and SLA's could go a long way in easing some of the barriers to adoption.
Mr Brown brings over 20 years of experience building and leading Sales, Operations and Service organizations in technology and healthcare. He is the Executive Director of HealthNet connect; an eHealth consortium 120 hospitals, and clinics and the CEO of BHC, LC a broadband and ITaaS provider.