Rob Lovell, CEO of ThinkGrid Limited (, says:

How do enterprises go about choosing the best cloud provider for their enterprise? I think this starts with the services that the enterprise is looking to fulfil and why they would look to outsource. Cloud computing is really just a word for hosted services. There are a lot of providers giving away Storage of CPU processing power, but only a few translating this into actual services. As an enterprise, you should do some research on the services you need so you can buy them on your terms and also find a company of similar size to your own to deal with rather than a giant like MS or Google who won’t provide any support.

How can enterprises make sure they are picking a cloud provider that will deliver what they need?
I think for SME the key is reliability and support around the services they are buying. It’s important to pick a provider that can provide high service levels (guaranteed), 24×7 support and has experience in the areas you are looking at. Case Studies or reference customers a must!

Why are enterprises turning to cloud providers for their computing needs?
I think a few words can describe it really. Cost (it is much cheaper per user than managing in-house), Reliability (these cloud infrastructures are huge and can provide resilience and business continuity off the bat, Ease (just click a button and its deployed).

Is cloud computing expected to be around for a while?
Well it has already been around for a good decade or more, just under different guises. So yes I think outsourced “off-premise” services will continue to grow as they have done. Whether cloud computing as a term sticks I think it probably will just given the amount of momentum it has.

Good to Know
I think the key thing is to read through the jargon when choosing services. Understand what you need and why you are doing it, and get the provide explain how they are going to meet these goals. Hosted Services have been around a long time so this isn’t a new technology, it is just a concept that is now broader, i.e. rather than just email and web sites being hosted, it’s now desktops, software, phones, data and more.