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Cloud planning mistakes you'll make in 2015

Mistakes are bound to happen when deploying cloud. But IT can dodge major mishaps -- even these three doozies -- with proper planning.

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Think you're a cloud computing expert? Well, a few years from now, you'll likely marvel at how little you knew. Of course, you can't learn unless you're willing to make mistakes. Here are three common cloud blunders most companies will make next year.

Mistake 1: Making security, governance and performance an afterthought

Security, governance and performance are all parts of cloud-based platforms. However, most consider these items only after deployment.

Security should underpin every cloud project -- not be bolted on later. Failure to do the upfront work forces cloud architects and developers to hit the reset button and restart migration or development efforts.

Address governance -- including policy-based orchestration and service or API management -- early in the process. Much like security, it's difficult to retrofit.

Performance also should be engineered into cloud-based applications. Cloud-native interfaces boost performance and are more cost-effective, but are also overlooked. Pay now or pay later.

Mistake 2: Limiting your public cloud to the most popular platforms

Everyone should move to Amazon Web Services (AWS), right? Wrong.

The right cloud platform is based on your application and business requirements. And, in some cases, a mix of cloud types -- and vendor brands -- will best meet your needs.

When selecting public or private clouds, map your business requirements to the technology and never the other way around. You need to understand the capabilities of the platform, as well as the costs. Next, match the right applications to the right cloud.

In some cases, there could be several cloud models at play, including private, public, hybrid and multi-clouds. In addition, as many as four or five brands may create the target environment. You have to keep an open mind.

Mistake 3: Lacking the right talent

Cloud architects, developers and operators are in short supply. Many enterprises hire anybody who can spell C-L-O-U-D and hope for the best.

Cloud architects, developers and operators are in short supply. Many enterprises hire anybody who can spell C-L-O-U-D and hope for the best.

But under-experienced IT pros could make costly mistakes. And, in the end, those mistakes will cost a company far more than it saved by not hiring top-tier talent.

There are a few paths to take. You can hire, train your existing staff, or do a mixture of both. Remain objective when you look at your own people; if the in-house talent is not up to the task, splurge on hiring the right people with the right skills. Cloud drives a systemic change in how you leverage computing resources. You want the best of the best on your team for this ride.

About the author:
David "Dave" S. Linthicum is senior vice president of Cloud Technology Partners and an internationally recognized cloud industry expert and thought leader. He is the author or co-author of 13 books on computing, including the best-selling Enterprise Application Integration. Linthicum keynotes at many leading technology conferences on cloud computing, SOA, enterprise application integration and enterprise architecture.

His latest book is Cloud Computing and SOA Convergence in Your Enterprise: A Step-by-Step Guide. His industry experience includes tenures as chief technology officer and CEO of several successful software companies and upper-level management positions in Fortune 100 companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer science for eight years and continues to lecture at major technical colleges and universities, including the University of Virginia, Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin.

Next Steps

How to repeat your company's cloud success story

Lessons to learn from a cloud project gone wrong

This was last published in December 2014

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