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Enjoying life in the cloud

The cloud opens up a new realm of IT possibilities. A little bit of investigation will go a long way into determining what's right for your business.

One of the most common questions about the cloud is what should you use it for? The easy answers tend to be things that you don't want to maintain yourself or that you can get cost advantage from not doing yourself.

Redmonk's Michael Cote suggests you start by asking yourself why use the cloud, before you get too far down the path.

In looking across your portfolio for things to move to the cloud, you still need to ask why you should do it. Top of the list tends to be cost (both up-front and ongoing, especially when it comes to upgrading and maintenance) but also flexibility and new functionality that come with cloud-based applications.

And while I agree with Cote, I made a different case in a recent InfoWorld article, "Cloud computing to the max", where I outline how my last company moved everything we possibly could into the well-trained hands of cloud and hosting providers.

In the end, our jump to the cloud was based on a desire to avoid expensive, cumbersome infrastructure. While using cloud services was not without its challenges, I can absolutely say that I would do it again.

The more time I spend with start-ups the fewer companies I see obsessing about IT and instead taking advantage of the available services. If IT is a strategic element of your business (and it always is) it's well worth the time to experiment with new solutions to the same old problems.