A summation of the key takeaways:
- Cost Savings are a benefit, not a driver
Do not get caught in the trap of making cost savings one of your drivers for going into the cloud. You will ultimately save money, but it will take time. In the beginning focus on how you intend to reduce or eliminate capex spending, reduce personnel resources, move services to a pay by month model eliminating long term contracts and ultimately reduce your annual budget by a modest percentage year over year over a 3-5 year period of time.
- Move what you have to and start fresh wherever possible
The move to the cloud should be viewed as an opportunity to leave systems behind and replace them with systems that are lighter, faster and less expensive.
- Create a long-term, flexible strategy
By creating a flexible strategy, you can constantly adapt to these changing conditions in the industry over which you have almost no control.
- Tear down and rebuild your security model
To get into the cloud you need the most robust and extensible authentication model you can possibly build and by doing so your options for solutions will increase exponentially. Don't fall into the trap that your existing security model must carry over to the cloud.
One last thing to note: in the next five years, new employees coming into your company won’t know (or care) how to use Outlook or mapped drives. They won’t care for your PC laptop offering or why your firewall blocks Dropbox. They will have established methods for doing work and they will all involve the cloud. Seventy-five out of the top 100 universities in the latest US News and World Report college rankings use Google Apps as their primary backbone.