It occurred to me recently that people are talking about “the cloud” these days almost as much as they talk about the weather. Need to reduce spending on IT infrastructure? Move to the cloud! Want to increase accessibility? Move to the cloud! Hoping to streamline processes? Move to the cloud!

Is there anything that cloud computing can’t fix? Of course there is. And sometimes, moving to the cloud creates new -- and potentially serious -- problems.

Cloud computing isn't for every enterprise. While some may be ready to leap into the cloud headlong, others may be better served through a more measured approach.  There’s no question that the stakes are high, so how should enterprise leaders evaluate a potential migration to the cloud? What is the difference between prudent caution and a dangerous aversion to change?

Here are some important things to consider when determining if, when, and how to migrate to the cloud.

Be Wary of Absolutes

Although it may feel like industry consensus is that “everyone should move everything to the cloud as soon as possible,” that simply isn't the case. An enterprise company is a little bit like an aircraft carrier -- significant changes in direction take time and planning.


A move to the cloud might be the best thing that ever happened to an enterprise. Or it might be the worst. It depends on how it’s done, and what is expected from it.

It's important for enterprises (and their consultants) to do the homework. Study the options. And remember that anyone who tells you that you have to do something is probably trying to sell you something.

Forget “All or Nothing”

Sure, there is some allure to being an early adopter -- being among the first to say that you've migrated completely to the cloud. But there is also risk. If today’s cloud solutions don’t meet your enterprise’s needs, a full migration could spell disaster.  But that doesn't mean you should avoid the cloud altogether.

When it comes to transitioning to the cloud, you really can do it one step at a time. Many enterprises have adopted successful hybrid models -- migrating data and functions that support improved collaboration across the enterprise to the cloud; while maintaining more sensitive data on-premises.