Hello, Tony Safoian here, President and CEO of SADA Systems. I’d like to address some of the cloud computing misconceptions which still exist today, and hopefully put an end to them once and for all!
It’s one of the most popular conversation topics in the modern business world; it seems everyone in business is talking about “the cloud”. It receives tons of press coverage. And millions of firms have switched from an on-premise computing environment to the cloud and are enjoying substantial benefits. Yet, misconceptions about the cloud still exist and continuously come up in discussions.
How can companies benefit from migrating to the cloud? Typically, in several different ways. Possible benefits include considerable cost savings due to reduced IT infrastructure and maintenance spending, lower payroll costs, operational scalability and flexibility, freeing up of internal IT resources for strategic purposes, etc.
But despite the key benefits firms can enjoy by switching to the cloud, many IT managers and CEOs are hesitant to make the move away from an on-premise environment. Despite the widespread adoption of cloud technology, misconceptions still abound, and they are hurting businesses that should consider switching to a cloud-based infrastructure, at least partially.
If you are an IT decision maker, and your company is struggling with an expensive-to-maintain, inefficient, unreliable on-premise network, but you are hesitant to adopt a cloud platform, keep reading. This article is for you. Today, we will address four of the most common and lingering cloud misconceptions that are keeping many firms from enjoying the benefits of a switch to the cloud.
Common Misconceptions About The Cloud
1. The cloud is a fad – Last year, Gartner Inc. released a report showing fast growing acceptance of the cloud by enterprise-level firms. The report claims that end-user investment in public cloud services could top $180 billion by 2015.
According to Gartner Vice President of Research Ian Marriott, “the initial resistance to public cloud has begun to subside and customers are beginning to realize its efficiencies as the solutions mature”
It’s not just large firms that are investing more and more of their IT budgets in cloud technology; small and medium sized businesses are jumping on board as well. According to a January 2013 article in Small Business Computing, 52% of SMBs are using cloud technology. Says the article:
“On-premises software solutions are clearly losing their luster among small businesses. Expect the trend to continue as the IT industry targets small businesses with a growing number of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions.”
Not only are businesses of all sizes increasing their investments in cloud computing solutions, a trend that shows no sign of slowing down, but consumers are embracing cloud-based services as well, even individuals who don’t think of those services as being part of the cloud.
Consider the web-based programs and services used by millions of consumers, services including…
Online Banking and Credit Card Account Portals
These are all cloud solutions that have been popular for years. They hardly represent a fad, don’t you agree?
As the exponentially increasing rate of cloud adoption by enterprise-level firms and SMBs and the popularity of cloud-based services like those in the list above indicate, “the cloud” isn’t a passing fad. It’s growing in popularity and reach.
2. Cloud Computing Is Too Expensive – Let’s face it: investing in high-powered servers, routers, software and other IT infrastructure is expensive, very expensive. Troubleshooting, repairing and maintaining a legacy on-premise network can be cost prohibitive, even financially crippling.
In addition to IT salaries and/or consulting fees, there are expensive server replacement parts, software upgrades and licenses, and high utility costs to maintain a proper server and network operating environment that must be given consideration when setting budgets.
There are also hidden (and often substantial) costs including sub par network performance, unused (but still paid for) server and resource capacity and employee downtime that frequently plague companies that choose on-premise networks rather than a cloud solution.
A migration to the cloud can substantially reduce your company’s IT-related expenses, both direct and indirect. When you rely on a state-of-the-art cloud network infrastructure instead of on-premise servers and software, especially an aging legacy network prone to trouble, you eliminate the costs and hassles associated with the repairs of, and software upgrades and license renewals for those servers.
When you migrate to the cloud, all of these expenses are handled by the cloud provider. You only “pay as you go” and are billed for the amount of computing capacity you actually use. You can scale up or down quickly depending on your current computing needs.
3. Cloud Computing Isn’t Secure – This is another common misconception about the cloud, perhaps the most common one given by business decision makers hesitant to embrace it. Granted, no network is perfectly secure, but the security offered by top flight cloud providers far exceeds that of most on-premise networks.
Part of the reason for the lingering belief that cloud computing isn’t secure may be the term “cloud” itself. Admittedly, that word doesn’t conjure up images of fortress-like security.
Instead of focusing on an image of your data floating around unsecured in a wispy, nebulous cloud, think of cloud computing for what it truly is, your data hosted remotely on powerful servers with a multitude of redundant systems behind multiple layers of world-class security.
The best cloud providers make your data security a high priority. They invest heavily in it. They hire and train teams of highly qualified IT security professionals who focus solely on keeping the data on their networks safe from intruders. The result is a level of security that few if any on-premise networks can match.
4. Cloud Computing Is Unreliable – Most businesses that migrate to the cloud will be very pleased to find that their new computing environment is far more dependable than the on-premise network they had previously used, especially those firms formerly weighed down by an unreliable, expensive-to-maintain legacy system.
When you migrate to a well-designed, top tier cloud network, you will enjoy many benefits, including layers of redundant protection. Such networks are monitored and maintained 24x7x365 by teams of well-trained, highly qualified specialists.
Many businesses struggle to keep their on-premise data backed up properly and are at considerable risk of data loss. The business-critical data hosted on cloud providers’ servers in top tier data centers is constantly backed up at file level, and backups are saved to redundant locations.
Even though cloud computing holds much promise for so many companies, migrating partly or fully to a cloud-based environment is a big step and can be a major challenge.
Are you considering a cloud solution for your business? Are you wondering where you should turn for advice?
My team of experts at SADA can help you figure out the best solution for your needs. We provide unrivaled cloud platform migration and deployment support to companies.