Over the past few years, there has been much talk about the cloud and its advantages/disadvantages. One of the great advantages to most cloud configurations is that it greatly reduces the need to upgrade business technology. These facts typically hinge on the size, type, and even the location of businesses that cloud is intended to be used by. These variations have brought a lot of uncertainty to businesses reviewing cloud providers, as there have been many cloud horror stories circulating around the web and media. Many of these stories include certain applications not running in the cloud; the cloud provider cannot support the amount of users accessing the cloud, or the location/business not having enough bandwidth to support operating the applications/access in the cloud.
The fact of the matter is that given all the advantages cloud may have for businesses, it is not for everyone, and there have been many cloud providers out there of all shapes and sizes that have not properly evaluated the prospective cloud users detailed current and future technology requirements, causing terrible experiences such as loss of productivity and even business.
When evaluating a cloud provider, best practices would be to make sure that the provider has a thorough plan of evaluation, migration, and execution, not to mention thoroughly evaluating their own technology (data centers/support technology/experience), as well as asking for valid references from both clients and technology partners.