The use of cloud computing in business has flourished over the past decade with exponential growth in adoption rates over the last several years. Enterprise cloud subscription revenues are forecasted to reach $67B by 2018, attaining a compound annual growth rate of 17.3 percent in the forecast period. Despite its undeniable popularity, it is the subject of numerous misconceptions and myths preventing businesses from leveraging its benefits. Below are the five biggest myths about cloud computing exposed.
Myth 1: Cloud is Less Secure Than On-Premise Solutions
Cloud computing is often perceived as being less secure than traditional premise-based environments, as many assume that the cloud operates like the Internet, as an open network susceptible to countless threats. However, there have been very few reported security breaches in the public cloud to date — most breaches actually stem from on-premise data center environments.
The truth is, cloud providers tend to offer better security because they are more attuned to the risks and live in cloud environments themselves. Additionally, with the provisioning of a cloud service, there is a required admission fee where users must be authenticated to sign in to a controlled, private environment that is carefully monitored, as opposed to a public cloud service option where anyone can request an account and immediately gain access. When vetting cloud providers and products, it’s important to be sure that the provider has demonstrated experience in offering secure cloud solutions.
Myth 2: Cloud is Always about Cost Savings
Financial considerations are a leading driver in any business decision, especially with regards to IT spending. One of the most common misconceptions about the cloud is that it always saves you money. While this is the case in many instances and 82% of businesses have reported saving money by moving to the cloud, it is not the case in every situation, nor is it the primary reason companies are moving to the cloud in droves.
According to Gartner’s 2014 CIO survey, cost savings accounts for only 14% of the reasons that organizations use the public cloud. To determine whether or not your organization will save money requires careful evaluation of the complete cost of ownership, as well as your separate cloud needs by use case. Additionally, it’s important to assess the benefits and drawbacks of a capital expenditure versus an operating expense for your business.
Myth 3: Cloud is just a Trend
While trends come and go, cloud is certainly not one of them. It may seem like a sudden rush towards this newer technology and boundless versatility, however, it has actually been building for decades and it just the beginning. With rapid adoption rates from businesses of all sizes, cloud computing is transforming the way businesses operate and compete with one another. According to Forbes, 78% of U.S. small businesses will have fully adopted cloud computing by 2020, more than doubling the 37% reported today. Therefore, those companies who choose not to make the transition may find themselves unable to compete in the near future.
Myth 4: Cloud Migration Immediately Enables all Cloud Benefits
Cloud computing is extremely unique, offering its own characteristics that vary by the different methods and levels of migration. Many migrations are lift-and-shift which do not offer scalability, while other common types of migration are lift-and-refit or cloud modernization which provide more benefits. There is an important distinction that needs to be made between applications that are hosted in the cloud and cloud services, which do not require the purchase of hardware, both provide different outcomes and benefits.
Myth 5: Cloud is the Same as a Data Center
Cloud decisions should never be centered around the abrupt elimination of data centers altogether or a complete migration of everything to the cloud at once. Generally, data center outsourcing, modernization and strategizing is related, but not identical to the cloud. Cloud computing has its own unique attributes.
It’s important that cloud decisions are evaluated on a case-by-case need, versus an all-or-nothing approach. Differentiating between applications that are hosted in the cloud versus cloud services is also critical. There are many different levels of cloud adoption from popular cloud applications to cloud-based phone systems and complete virtual private data centers, it’s all just a matter of where your company’s needs and comfort level fits on the spectrum.
While the landscape of data management continues to evolve, the cloud is proving to be one of the most highly adaptable and all-encompassing options for B2B businesses. The rapid growth and attractive benefits related to security, cost-savings and agility continues to prove it is one of the most efficient and comprehensive data infrastructures available for businesses of all sizes.
READ our other recent cloud article, on tools for cloud-based accounting
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