Companies around the world are looking to the cloud to support business-critical applications while improving agility, assuring scalability, and reducing cost. IDG Enterprise’s Cloud Computing Survey 2015 shows that 72% of organizations have at least one application or a portion of their computing infrastructure in the cloud.
While the higher percentage might speak to the overall uptake of cloud technologies, there are still several organizations that hesitate to make the move. And the reason could be the several myths that continue to surround the cloud and its ability to support the business. And while we may dismiss these myths as harmless, for organizations it could mean relinquishing the opportunity for true innovation.
Let’s take a look at some of the myths about the cloud so that you can take a more informed decision:
Myth #1: The cloud is not as secure as on-premise models
Data security continues to remain the top adoption challenge for enterprises, with data integrity and access risk being recurring themes. Like other technologies, public and private clouds do have privacy and security controls in place to ensure legitimate access to data. However, experts do admit that there might be some risks associated with migrating to the cloud. At the end of the day though, it’s all about managing these risks, just like you would in a traditional infrastructure setup. There is no denying that you need to have solid systems and processes in place to protect your data. But once that’s done, most businesses do find that the other advantages of moving to the cloud far outweigh the security risk.
Myth #2: Moving to the cloud is troublesome & costly
Some CXOs consider the move to the cloud itself as a limiting factor, both in terms of the hassle and the costs involved. To many of them, upgrading existing systems seems like a better option than migrating to a new environment altogether. And while this might be true on the cost side in specific situations, there is something to be said about scalability and the reduction in the total cost of ownership that the cloud provides over the years. Plus partnering with an experienced services provider can ensure a quick migration with minimum downtime.
Myth #3: The cloud is a fad
Despite the cloud being around for some time now, there are still many who believe that it is a fad, a trend. But reports from leading analysts such as Gartner, Forrester, Ovum, and others predict that the global SaaS (Software as a Service) market will grow from $49Bn in 2015 to $67Bn in 2018. In fact, cloud applications will account for 90% of the worldwide mobile data traffic by 2019. What started with peripheral applications such as email, expenses, etc. has now transitioned to support core business applications including sensitive ones such as CRM and compliance. All of these are indications that the cloud is here to stay and anyone who ignores this is the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the sand.
Myth # 4: Cloud computing is only for technology companies
Using cloud technologies has nothing to do with being a technology company yourself. Any company in any market vertical, no matter what its size, can use the cloud to run applications for finance and accounting, CRM, sales, or core business. As long as you have a trusted technology partner, any company can adopt the cloud to its advantage.
Myth #5: The cloud is not for critical use
The cloud has been adopted in phases over the years. As expected, in its early years of adoption, most of the use cases were not for business-critical applications, but more for peripheral ones. However, many early adopters have also moved past this stage and are now utilizing the cloud to support core applications that are strategic from a business standpoint. There are also many new-age enterprises (several of them being start-ups) that have operated only on the cloud and run their entire business off it.
Myth #6: Cloud – All in or out; there is no middle way
Cloud computing similar to other technologies needs to be evaluated thoroughly before embracing it for business. And similar to other technologies, it need not be a blanket approach to adoption either. Instead, it can be adopted in phases or by parts of the business first as a pilot. Each organization’s situation is different. For example, for one organization the sales team might need to move to the cloud for better collaboration between regional offices, but the finance team need not because of its small size. However, for a large conglomerate with global operations, cloud applications for the finance team make every sense for better cost synergies and quicker decision-making.
The decision to move to the cloud can therefore be for specific locations, departments, or business units depending on the core work, team distribution, and other key factors.
Myth #7: Cloud means having your data center in the cloud
A cloud service is no longer confined to the basic premise of data storage. It could instead take up any of the following forms:
– Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) where rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space, or network equipment, the cloud model allows businesses to buy those resources as a fully outsourced service
– Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) where the cloud houses the business software and related data, and users access the software and data via their web browser.
– Business Process as a Service (BPaaS) where the cloud is used for standard business processes such as billing, payroll, or human resources.
– Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) where the cloud offers a complete platform for application, interface, and database development, storage, and testing.