All projects, IT-related or otherwise, have the ability to fail. Projects can fail for any number of reasons—and some of them are doomed before they even begin.
The cloud provides today’s businesses with an agile, scalable, on-demand solution with reduced costs and minimized risk.
However, research tells us that cloud-focused IT projects have a high failure or stall rate. With so many businesses looking to the cloud as their next step, how do you ensure that your project will succeed?
Here are some questions to ask yourself to ensure your next cloud-related project makes it across the finish line:


What are your business objectives?

Moving to the cloud should be tied very closely to your company’s overall objectives. If it’s not, you’re running a significant risk that the project will be abandoned prior to completion.
While it furnishes portability, security and limitless flexibility, the cloud must serve your business and its needs.


What about service level agreements?

Major cloud service providers offer a variety of service level agreements (SLA) to their clients. Moving from testing into production usually means new SLAs will come into place. Make sure you know the risks that your company has to take on once your cloud computing solution is on the fast track.


Are you moving too fast?

Before moving your cloud project into production, make sure your team performs some thorough testing. Take time to properly pilot the technology to ensure it will work the way you expect it to work.


When will the cost savings actually happen?

Moving to the cloud is touted as a way for your business to realize cost savings, with capital expenditures converted to operational expenditures and consumption usually billed on a utility or subscription basis.
But when will these cost savings come to fruition? It’s not always an overnight transaction, and it can take time for your business to see cost reductions. Keep this in mind during the planning stage—especially when communicating with the members of your C-suite, who’ll want realistic expectations.


Is the timing right?

It’s said that timing is everything, and that certainly applies when moving to the cloud.
Early adopters of the cloud ran the risk that their solution was not as bulletproof as they thought, with bugs that need to be chased. Meanwhile, late adopters of the cloud risk being left behind by their competitors.


Do you have the right team?

Your IT department of one developer and one business architect may not be sufficient to move your business to the cloud. Just like you wouldn’t ask your mechanic to handle your house renovations, you need the proper IT team to plan, build, test, and eventually implement.
Moving to the cloud can be incredibly rewarding, but there are potential pitfalls.
Cloud is not an off-the-rack proposition, and needs to be tailored to your business needs.
Consider using an experienced and knowledgeable third party like Ricoh IT Services to help you navigate what can sometimes become murky and turbulent waters.