Cloud Computing – Myth and Reality
It is no secret that I am a big supporter of the cloud. For those familiar with my blog, I have discussed the advantages the cloud brings to businesses in articles like: 5 Ways a Small Business can use the Cloud, how to manage the disadvantages, in posts like: 5 Challenges in the Journey to the Cloud, and generally offered tips on how to actually migrate to the cloud.
From my own writing but also from other articles on the Internet, there seem to be some things we all assume about the cloud, forming a kind of mythology of the cloud. These are a few:
- Businesses move to the cloud to save money.
- The migration to the cloud is delayed or held back by security fears
- Adoption of the cloud would result in fewer IT employees, some (very few) going as far as to say it could spell the end of enterprise IT.
- The cloud brings accessibility and flexibility
- Cloud services are green
- People may be resistant to change.
These are just six of the things that seem to be widely accepted when it comes to the cloud. In December 2011, I’ve read this survey, The CSC Cloud Usage Index, and it is interesting to see how the reality compares to the myth.
- Cutting costs – the survey finds that “82 percent of all organizations saved money on their last cloud adoption project”. Of course, the amounts saved varied, but the majority of adopters reported savings.
- The security issues seem to be overstated as well, as the survey finds that “Data security concerns do not change significantly after adopting cloud”, with only 25% of organizations manifesting more concerns following migration.
- Concerning the the end of Enterprise IT scenario, I think the survey findings were the most surprising: “Only 14 percent of companies downsized their IT departments after adopting cloud while 20 percent of organizations hired more cloud experts.” So it seems like the fears are unfounded.
- Accessability and flexibility were not specifically included in the survey, but I believe that these two characteristics of the cloud do not need any further evidence. What the survey does show though is that “93 percent of all organizations saw at least one area of improvement in their IT department since adopting cloud”, which is really not bad at all.
- “64 percent of organizations say that adopting cloud has helped them reduce waste and lower energy consumption.” I think we can safely say that the cloud has good green credentials.
- Change is good, but also difficult. Surprisingly, the survey finds that “74 percent of small businesses say that no one in their company resisted the move to the cloud.” I think it proves that it’s a change that benefits everybody, especially employees, who gain a great deal of freedom.
In conclusion, I believe that the myth and the reality are not that far apart, and even some fears seem to be not that well founded. Those who have adopted the cloud find that it generally is exactly what they expected.
By Rick Blaisdell