When selling cloud computing to the business, there are a few easy steps you need to consider.

We’ve all seen the PowerPoint presentations that show the business advantages of cloud computing: The ability to avoid hardware and software purchases (OpEx vs. CapEx), speed to deployment, elasticity, etc..  However, unless you’re prepared to provide real numbers that define real value, that’s just so much fluff to those in the executive suite.

As I develop these business cases for enterprises, I find some commonality or emerging patterns to consider.  Here are some secrets to get your cloud computing business case developed and accepted.

First, define the cost of what’s not working.  Ask any CIO and they will tell you that everything is going well in their shop.  Typically, that’s never the case, and that inefficiency has a cost.  You need to define that cost up front.  In larger organizations, you’ll find it’s millions of dollars a year in lost productivity to the business.

Second, move beyond the buzzwords to the heart of the business problems.  As cloud geeks we have a tendency to move in packs.  However, your enterprise is a unique problem domain and you need to define the unique problems first before you consider the general advantages of cloud computing.

Finally, and most important, understand that the business case needs to be specific and tied to an overall plan.  The idea is to define what’s wrong, how to fix it, and why cloud computing is the right path to fix it.  If you can’t define that strategy, you don’t have a business case.