Cloud Technology Myths Explained
Cloud computing services and related developments are definitely changing the way we network, collaborate, consume information and deploy applications. Businesses are now demanding more from service providers and cloud computing is more prominent across various industries. So being on cutting edge is rewarding but at the same time it has some side-effects too. Cloud is popular, it is one of the hottest topics discussed today and hence there are some myths associated with it too. Blame it to over marketing, unawareness of users or something else, recent surveys and customer feedbacks are sufficient enough to prove that there are still some myths around the usage and effects of adopting cloud. Let’s discuss these myths and how we should perceive these for our own business.
COMPLEXITY: Cloud would make my IT complex
Business managers have a feeling that Cloud would increase the complexity regarding their data storage, how users access applications and other regular processes. This thinking has no logical base actually and maybe it is a normal human tendency to resist change. Businesses especially IT managers often develop an unexplainable attachment for in-house processes and hence resistance to adopt cloud appears. Quite understandable though. Technically speaking cloud computing has different types and levels of complexities. Sometimes there are fewer changes in your applications and simple management is required as earlier. In other cases there are more changes in applications but in order to provide you more power in terms of performance and usage. So how complex your IT and regular process could become once you shift to cloud depends upon your requirements. In real world, to achieve a good balance between power and simplicity is great and you should aim for that while working on cloud migration.
COST : Cloud is just a money saving tool and Subscription services prove to be costly at the end.
Regarding cost there are two types of myths associated with cloud computing. First, cloud is considered just as a money saving tool. Second one, cloud monthly subscription fees could be costly eventually. Both are not true. Definitely cost reductions is a benefit of adopting cloud computing solutions but rating cloud just as a cost saving strategy would be not fair. Budget and finances are always at the core of businesses and hence businesses used to judge any new tool with the cost associated. So it’s not a surprise that many businesses see it as money saving tool. Well why to blame users, visit any service provider’s website or marketing brochures. Most of them talk about money savings and this is the highlighted in sales pitches too. This could be a reason why cloud is often rated like this. In actual there are several other benefits too and depending upon the need of businesses some are even more crucial than cost reduction. These other benefits could be increased productivity, scalability, access to new technologies and infrastructures and high tech operational excellence.
As you would be aware, cloud offers easy pay as you go schemes where you can have services on monthly subscription costs. Some businesses are little hesitant to these and assume that there could be hidden fees and it would cost them more. In actual cloud offer a brilliant replacement to upfront heavy infrastructures with their ongoing operational costs based on usage. This is as simple as any utility service payment.
SECURITY: Cloud is not reliable and secure
A common belief, cloud computing exposes data to more risks. May be because you can’t see it, you feel it is not secure. Also businesses have witnessed some security breaches and infamous hacks which make them doubtful about security of cloud storage. There are two points to understand here. Firstly, the security breaches and mishaps are more in consumer based products and that too are rare occasions. When B2B cloud services are concerned security is most important for a genuine cloud vendor. So in real world and dealing with reputed service providers this is not true to say that cloud is not secure and reliable. In fact as managing your IT is the core business of cloud vendors so they are better prepared for any kind of disaster and breach/hack. Their IT resources are better trained for making you data secure.
Another factor related to security is regulatory compliance. If you are a financial or medical business or any kind of data sensitive business you have, you need to discuss this with your vendor. Also you need to get relevant regulatory permissions before adopting cloud. But this is completely different from cloud security. This is related to your candidature for entering cloud and should not be mixed with cloud storage security.
In true cloud environment it is almost impossible to identify which server has which customer data and which application. So any data theft is not possible in cloud. Just because you cannot sit in the vendor’s data center, it doesn’t mean that cloud is not secure.
Some risks are present online such as spywares, hackers, viruses and other issues but these are the primary concerns of companies offering cloud computing services. Thus, they implement more sophisticated security measures, and methods to address the needs and demands of businesses to secure data. The only need is to be extra careful when you are discussing security and encryption stuff with your cloud vendor.
PERFORMANCE: Cloud does not match in-house performance
Cloud performance depends upon different related factors. You want best performance and cost is not an issue, go for dedicated servers. You want to be cost efficient and performance both go for hybrid solutions rather. In actual there is no performance issue in cloud if you choose the custom solution for each application based on its nature.
In general cloud is much more efficient and performing than in-house server because of more capacity and scalability. Sometime network connections and I/O issues could be responsible for performance issues. But to which extent network latency could affect your performance depends on your network as well as cloud providers, complexity of application used and how cloud is deployed.
Cloud Technology Myths Explained
OWNERSHIP: Cloud would make me lose control and ownership over my data
A common feeling – I would lose control over my data. Because you are not storing your data physically with you it’s obvious to feel like this. You don’t know about the data storage, security mechanism and legal terms at the storage location (if it is a different country). Well this is actually a precaution you need to take care while negotiating SLA. Usually good cloud providers explain ownership in the service agreement and store and protect data as per your requirement and specifications. In case you don’t see this clause, you should ask your provider for the ownership clarification.
If you have a feeling of getting locked in with one vendor, simply ask for a plan in advance about the process of data and application transfer if you choose to migrate to another vendor later or back to in –house. It may sound asking about the divorce process even before engagement but to avoid any doubts you should discuss with your provider.
MIGRATION: Cloud migration is complex
Your cloud migration is dependent on the applications you choose to deploy and use of tools and strategies to deploy cloud architecture. So it would not always true to say that cloud migration is quite complex. To be specific service oriented applications are simple to adopt as compared to non-service applications. With the continuous advancements and innovations going on this field there are robust tools available for simpler deployment and management of cloud applications. So cloud is not tough to integrate. Also good service providers take care of migration and provide necessary information and tools to make the process painless for you.
SME friendly: Cloud is good for SMEs only
This is definitely not true. As large companies can afford to have their own infrastructure and man power to run the latest applications and servers, it’s often heard that cloud is good for small and medium businesses only. Of course today cloud has changed the game by enabling SMEs to deploy best business class facilities like large enterprises without spending huge upfront costs but cloud services are equally useful for large companies too. Cloud enables scalability, agility, collaboration and pain less management of social applications which is useful for large companies too.
VIRTUALIZATION: I already deploy virtualization, so I don’t need Cloud Computing
Because both virtualization and cloud aim to enhance the computing power, they are often thought as same phenomena. Virtualization is a part of your physical infrastructure and cloud is a complete service. Cloud computing is much more than virtualization. You can achieve virtualization in-house but that is not comparable to effects of cloud computing. Cloud is strategic deployment of infrastructure and software to create a customized service architecture which can be scaled on demand. Virtualization is a key component of cloud but cannot replace the cloud for sure.
FUTURE CONCERN: There is no future of Cloud , it’s just a short-lived craze
Future is often a judgment criteria associated with a newly launched object or phenomenon. Honestly cloud is not a new thing, though it is evolving from many years. Only the nomenclature is new – Cloud computing. So on reality ground something which is already in use and undergoing new developments and innovations has already passed the tests of longevity.
Definitely cloud is here to stay. Gartner published some findings regarding this, you may be aware of those but listing those could be a good way to explain the myth related to cloud future:
- Gartner Hype Cycle for Cloud Computing, 2012 summarizes that businesses adopting cloud as their strategic business component would realize its full potential and achieve performance acceleration as compared to those who wouldn’t go for this or adopt it just for IT cost reduction.
- Cloud computing is chosen the high interest area in Gartner Polls and more than 70% of participants have indicated their plans for reviewing Cloud computing solutions.
- Based on the research Gartner forecasted that more than 50% businesses would adopt and implement some kind of SaaS based applications by the end of 2015.
- Not only B2B, Gartner has predicted the huge impact of cloud computing on consumers too. They forecasted that cloud would dominate the digital lives of consumer by 2014 replacing the personal computer.
These are few myths related to cloud computing, if you feel something remains please add comment regarding it. As the computing needs of businesses are increasing and companies are heavily dependent on mobile technologies cloud computing is surely a worth business strategy to learn and adopt. You always don’t need to take everything to the cloud and this is the beauty of cloud.
Above all communication and team work are an essential part of business regardless of industry and nature of business. Cloud support effective and timely communication, collaboration and networking which makes it a powerful and promising.
By Richa Pokhriyal
This post is contributed by Richa Pokhriyal , Digital Media Specialist @ Egocentrix. Egocentrix is specialized in SaaS services like Microsoft Exchange 2010 Hosting, Online Microsoft SharePoint Hosting, Antispam Solution, BlackBerry Exchange Server Synchronization Services, Dedicated Server, Virtual Private Server (VPS), Online Backup & Data Protection, Website Hosting and many more!
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