According to JDA Software Group, Inc, a provider of supply chain solutions, the cloud is shifting from just delivering capacity, to delivering results that improve business performance. The challenge remains though in sorting through all the options and in getting straight answers to questions you might not even have thought of yet. To help understand the kinds of things companies should expect from cloud providers, JDA offered the following.

You should expect:

  • A Strong, Secure and Safe Off-Site Environment: Insist on a stable and secure environment that includes authentication, authorization and accountability and guided by principles to deliver solutions that drive performance improvements through standardization, repetition, specialization and automation. The cloud provider should be able to demonstrate an increased level of security, availability, performance, and problem and change management.
  • Adds Value to the Solution: Cloud services should continually evolve and include the ability to access point release upgrades quickly and easily to ensure ongoing performance improvement. The right cloud partner should be able to provide a solution change management schedule that includes your company’s changes as well as the solutions’ improvements, allowing these changes to help evolve the solution to fit your changing business requirement, not theirs.
  • Adds Value to the Lifecycle: A cohesive collaboration between strategic consulting, support and product development is critical to ensuring that solutions are always performing accurately and can be customized or updated as necessary to ensure the desired results are achieved. The best cloud providers can aggregate a company’s complete expertise and resources to ensure that the expected solution benefits remain throughout the full lifecycle of the solution.
  • Adds Value to the Enterprise: The most critical component of cloud solutions is the ability to drive improved results that will deliver value to the enterprise. The best providers have the ability to bring people, process, technology and expertise together in the cloud to address the business challenges you saw ? and the results you were seeking ? when the cloud solution evaluation process began. Bringing value to the solutions project and the solutions lifecycle is not enough. The real value occurs when a cloud provider can turn capacity value into capability value and show a demonstrated long-term set of business benefits.