Top 5 Cloud Computing Myths Debunked - What the Cloud Isn’t
Cloud computing adoption levels are soaring, with Gartner predicting that more than $1 trillion in IT spending will be affected by the shift to the cloud by 2020.
Despite its popularity, there’s still plenty of misconceptions surrounding the cloud, which can make businesses reluctant to migrate away from their expensive on-premise infrastructure.
If you’re aware of the many benefits of cloud computing, but still have some reservations about moving away from your on-premise infrastructure, then in this article we’ll be exploring the 5 most common cloud computing myths.
By the end of this article, we’ll have separated fact from fiction, helping you get to the truth about cloud computing.
1. The cloud is expensive
Implementing an on-premise data center can be costly, often requiring you to invest in specialist equipment, such as servers and routers, and sometimes even requiring help from expensive industry experts. By migrating to the cloud, you can eliminate all of these startup costs, as providing the data center becomes the sole responsibility of your cloud partner.
Even after your on-premise data center is up and running, you’ll face ongoing and often unpredictable costs, such as upgrading the storage space to meet your business’ changing requirements, or paying for expert consultants if you encounter any issues with your data center. You’ll also be responsible for repairing or replacing any damaged or aging hardware. Most on-premise servers require an upgrade once every 5 years, but you’ll also need to budget for many other miscellaneous and often unpredictable maintenance costs, since a critical on-premise component could potentially fail at any time.
By migrating to the cloud, you can replace all of these maintenance costs with a monthly or even an annual subscription that you agree in advance with your cloud provider, and then work into your corporate budget. By switching to the cloud, your data center can become as straightforward as your Netflix subscription: just send your payment every month, and you can enjoy Netflix’s entire catalogue from any location, at any time.
A good cloud service provider should also be willing to scale your cloud resources to match your business’ changing requirements, so you always pay for exactly the capacity and capabilities that your organization needs. At Systems Assurance, our team of experienced industry experts can upgrade your cloud computing plan within minutes, and we’re happy to reduce your resources when they’re no longer needed, ensuring that you always get the best possible return on investment.
In addition, if you opt for a complete cloud computing platform such as Office 365, then you can often replace multiple third party solutions with a single product. Depending on the number of third party vendors you’re currently working with, migrating to the cloud can save you a significant amount of money.
2. The cloud isn’t secure
When introducing any new technology, security is always a major concern. With new, high-profile viruses and data breaches hitting the headlines all the time, it’s easy to see why so many businesses are concerned about security - especially since 60% of small businesses close their doors following a cyberattack.
The thought of moving sensitive corporate and customer data out of your on-premise infrastructure and entrusting it to a third party may seem like a frightening prospect, but the cloud isn’t inherently any less secure than on-premise infrastructure.
All of the major cloud providers take security seriously. If you opt for any of Microsoft’s cloud-based products or services, then you can be confident that all of your corporate data will be stored in a facility that’s protected by outer and inner parameters, biometric scanners, locked server racks, multi-factor authentication, integrated alarm systems and 24 hour video surveillance. Even the employees who work at Microsoft’s data centers will be unable to access your data!
Microsoft is also committed to continuously improving the security of all their cloud-based products and services, investing $1 billion every year into developing new ways to keep their cloud customers safe.
In addition to this built-in security, Microsoft offer plenty of additional features that you can activate and customize to meet your business’ specific security needs. For example, if your organization has a Bring Your Own Device policy, then Office 365 includes Mobile Device Management policies that allow you to control how your employees access corporate data on their personal mobile devices.
There are also some areas where the cloud is significantly more secure than on-premise infrastructure. When your data is stored in the cloud, it’s no longer tied to any specific network or device, which makes it immune to any physical disasters, emergencies or system failures that might affect your workplace.
Professional cloud services such as Office 365 have everything your business needs to ensure your private corporate data remains private, but as with any technology it’s often the end-users who pose the biggest security threat. For advice on how to ensure your employees are using the cloud safely, check out our Top 7 Ways to Secure Microsoft 365.
3. The cloud isn’t reliable
It’s tempting to view non-premise infrastructure, which is physically present on-site, as more reliable than the cloud. However, many organizations struggle to backup their data using on-premise systems alone, which puts their business at significant risk of losing invaluable corporate and customer data. In the worst case scenario, a single failed hardware component could cause your business to lose all of its data, with zero chance of recovering any of this vital information.
Today, the majority of cloud providers offer automated, built-in backup, so you can recover all of your data following a systems or hardware failure, or even following a physical disaster such as a fire or flood. Due to this built-in data backup and recovery, your typical cloud platform is much more reliable than on-premise infrastructure.
The cloud also makes data accessible from any location, at any time. If your office ever suffers an Internet outage, then you’ll be able to access your data and corporate applications from the nearest location that does have Internet access, which simply isn’t possible with an on-premise system.
4. Small businesses don’t need advanced cloud capabilities
At Systems Assurance, we’ve encountered SMBs who assume that the advanced capabilities of
modern cloud platforms such as Office 365 aren’t necessary for smaller companies. However,
the reality is that SMBs face many of the same challenges as the enterprise.
Regardless of whether you have 5 employees or 5,000, those employees need to be able to
collaborate with each other and potentially with third parties, such as your suppliers or
customers. If your employees don’t have access to secure, reliable tools then they’ll be less
productive in the workplace and may even be unable to complete certain tasks.
For employees who don’t have access to modern tools and apps, there’s a huge temptation to
use unsanctioned software. In the worst case scenario your employees may even resort to
sending confidential data via unsecured channels, an issue that recently hit the headlines when
NHS doctors were caught sharing private patient information on WhatsApp.
When you lose control of the software that your employees are using, your business is at
significant risk from malicious third parties - or even people who might stumble upon your data
completely by accident, as there’s even been instances where the children of NHS doctors were
watching their smart TVs when a confidential patient photo suddenly appeared onscreen!
Replacing a pick-and-mix of third party solutions with a single cloud platform will help keep your
data safe, which is going to be a huge benefit regardless of whether you’re a brand-new startup
or an established, multinational organization.
If you migrate to the cloud, then your corporate data and apps will also be accessible from any
location that has Internet access, which opens up the possibility for remote working. Remote
working can be anything from giving your employees the option to work from home, to hiring a
remote worker who’s the very best person for the job, but isn’t located anywhere near your
office. According to a 2019 Owl Labs survey small companies are twice as likely to hire remote
employees, so this is one area where SMBs can get significantly more value from the cloud,
compared to big enterprises.
5. The cloud is just another buzzword
Cloud computing doesn’t have to take the form of cloud migration or a complete, end-to-end cloud platform. If you’ve ever used DropBox, Gmail, Apple Mail, WordPress, Slack, or any other application or service that’s accessed via the web, then your business is already using the cloud - and you’re not alone! According to the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing study, 73% of businesses rely on the cloud in some capacity, and when you consider the range of tangible, real-world benefits it’s easy to see why so many businesses are embracing cloud apps and services.
Over the years we’ve helped countless companies reap the benefits of cloud computing, including improved security, increased employee productivity, a high ROI and the ability to recover critical corporate data, rather than losing it simply because a single on-premise component has failed.
Are there any other issues preventing you from migrating to the cloud? If you have any concerns or questions, then why not book a session with one of our specialist engineers? We’d be happy to talk through all of your concerns, and explore what cloud computing has to offer your business.
Book your free session with one of our specialist engineers.
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