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OK. So I was looking forward to going to the technical stream at Business Cloud Summit 2011. Did it live up to expectations? Yes, definitely. The panel discussion format worked very well, providing lots of pragmatic insights from practitioners, as well as revealing comments from industry watchers and vendors. Here are the ten top tips I learnt as a result of attending, in no particular order.

  1. Be careful with IaaS and PaaS. Make sure the solutions you use are portable otherwise you could get locked in to a supplier.
  2. Data protection is a huge issue. Be sure you know where your data is or you could fall foul of the increasing regulatory burden.
  3. The only way to ensure the level of security you need is to audit your cloud provider. See SAP’s video for best practices.
  4. Java skills are in great demand for building cloud applications. Watch out for a looming shortage!
  5. In the future it is unlikely that IT will be all cloud or all in-house. However, it must be the business need that dictates which solutions are adopted.
  6. Remote offices with local providers are difficult for companies to integrate and control. Cloud applications can solve the problem. Think two-tier ERP, for example.
  7. There is a danger that too much regulation will stifle creativity. Companies need to actively get involved with regulatory authorities to ensure what they come up with is realistic.
  8. Senior IT managers need to be thinking carefully about their cloud strategy. Business users want instant gratification and will go round IT if they have to. But guess who will have to pick up the pieces?
  9. Some organisations are finding that PaaS deskills the IT department, because it changes the way development is done.
  10. If developers are creating new applications from scratch they are doing something wrong. There are plenty of opportunities to re-use existing code or address niche markets by building on core solutions such as SAP Business ByDesign.
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