Yes, cloud computing can provide numerous benefits to an organization.  The ability to scale with the increases and decreases of usage can handle most unexpected situations.  Numerous opportunities for redundancies and multiple instances of applications can increase an applications availability.  Sharing the infrastructure with other customers keeping the costs of the infrastructure down.


But this doesn’t mean that all concerns have completely disappeared and companies still need to understand what their service provider can deliver.  Especially when it comes to performance.  Of greatest concern is bandwidth.  Using a cloud solution has to potential for raising the bandwidth requirement because applications are more accessible through the web.  Companies need to make sure the promises by service providers are achievable.  For solutions that use the cloud for a front end with a backend within the company’s IT environment, increased bandwidth between the two environment may be required.


Bandwidth isn’t the only concern to improve performance.  Redundancies are another crucial component to ensure that service disruptions have minimal impact on business operations.  Identify the server solutions that the provider has in place to promote redundancy and replication.  Cluster environments are of course the best choice, but can be more expensive depending on the number of instances that are found int eh cluster. 


Latency is still another major concern.  If the data center for the service provider is 1000 miles away, performance issues will occur.   For companies that are striving for a global presence, they need to seek service providers that have multiple data centers around the world. 


The bottom line.  Cloud computing does have its benefits.  However, careful planning and knowledge of the service providers capabilities will ensure both parties are clear that the business requirements are met.

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