Deep dive: Cloud applications

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The path to launching a cloud service is not straightforward. Here's how to find services among existing applications, and get them ready

Thanks to the success of Amazon EC2, Salesforce, and other public cloud services, most enterprises understand the value of cloud computing, and an increasing number of enterprises are exploring the idea of getting into the cloud computing business. Why not? Launching a public cloud service may establish a new revenue stream -- or self-service convenience for customers -- with minimal additions to existing infrastructure.

But launching a cloud service can be a laborious process. Enterprise IT managers need to select which applications should be cloud enabled based on a stringent set of criteria. Moreover, they must establish or modify service interfaces or APIs and deal with new challenges in governance and security, including the ability to track usage for both billing and chargeback.

Are you ready for the cloud business? Which of your services is ripe to become a cloud service? How do you establish a compelling business case? How do you create successful cloud services, either simple or complex?

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