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Ten steps you should consider on your way into the cloud

According to a recent study [1] it can be assumed that more than 50% of companies worldwide will use at least one public cloud platform. In Germany, even 66% of companies rely on cloud computing services. [2] The corresponding outsourcing of processing capacity, storage capability and obligations is one of the major drivers for the online “data explosion”. [3] The European Commission also recognised that the use of cloud computing services substantially benefits the European economy. [4] However, from a legal perspective, it is not relevant whether you are using the cloud solutions of Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, IBM or any other company. In this article, I want to talk about 10 crucial steps you should consider on your journey into the cloud. 1. Implementation of an IT project management Did you know that 52 per cent of all IT projects are only completed with little success? 19 per cent even result in a complete failure. [5] Considering that most IT projects involve six-figure costs, this is rather shocking. The solution: A clearly documented and sophisticated IT project management. Planning, implementation, controlling, communication and resource management processes are essential – irrespective of whether you are dealing with a sequential or agile project or whether you apply the “scrum” methodology. An orderly process involves time and money, however, chaos even more. Due to an established rule of thumb it makes sense to implement an IT project management process in connection with a contract value exceeding EUR 15.000. [6] 2.Target definition You should clearly define the essential requirements of your business. Which storage capacity, data transfer rate, security standards, flexibility, licences are necessary in connection with the business model? Is your current IT infrastructure compatible with the preferred cloud solution? Is it necessary that the systems provide for high availability and can they be implemented? Would you agree to data transfers to third countries? Is there already an established exit scenario? How do you prevent “lock-in” effects? How important is usability? Do you want to use standard or custom-made software? Is your business partner financially sound? As soon as you have a clear idea about the technical, organisational, business, security specific and legal issues, you should define the corresponding specifications. 3. Cloud versus data processing centre Regarding to business and security specific issues it should be clarified whether the company’s data should be stored in the cloud or “on premise” at its own data processing centre. In particular, the requirements of the security of the property (physical protection against unlawful access, video surveillance, principle of double control, security personnel), requirements of the system’s failures safety (redundant hardware, network connections and electric power lines), backup strategies as well as the prevention of cyber-attacks should be carefully considered. [7] 4. Data security Does your contractor ensure an adequate level of data protection? Does the level of data protection comply with the state of the art? In order to assess these requirements, it is possible to some extent to rely on IT specific certificates. ISO […]

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