Cloud Computing and SMBs
Cloud Computing is the hottest issue among IT intellects of Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs). Like any other computer-orientated technology, Cloud Computing has some misconceptions and myths that often kick-start arguments among the two opposing groups: Cloud Supporters and Cloud Opponents. Both of these groups have their own ideology and reasons for their stand on this issue. Within those ideologies remain some serious myths that are miles apart from practical facts, but which have an effect on their overall business.
For SMBs aiming to grow, making smart decisions is crucial and that demands factual thinking. So, if you are in a dilemma over Cloud adoption, you must consider all perspectives before choosing to use Cloud technology or not.. To reach the correct conclusion, decision-makers for SMBs must stay away from these myths.
Myths among Cloud supporting SMBs
If you are in support of Cloud Computing, you are expected to be more technically-reliable, efficient, and productive than your counterparts. However, some ignorance and over-dependency on Cloud can harm you, brutally. Here is a quick list of myths that should not be part of your thought process:
We are on Cloud and we would never face any technical issue. Nothing is perfect. Cloud Computing follows this universal law. On the rarest of the rare incidence, your Cloud Vendor can face power outage, system crash, etc., that can put your services on hold. Most Cloud vendors have their own disaster recovery solutions ready (different backup servers or whatever they choose to utilize), so the issue may not last long. But, if you come across such a situation, it is not out of the blue and may hamper your business operations for some time.
Free Tip- Relying on different vendors is the best prevention from such situations.
Using personal devices is completely safe. Using Cloud Computing with personal devices is an advantage, but that can give an edge to the attackers as well. While Cloud Computing is well-secured on the vendor’s end, it is your responsibility to keep your end tight.
Cloud is always the best option. Different businesses have different aspects to be considered and not all of them should be expected to fit the Cloud Computing model. So, don’t go blindly using Cloud Computing for everything. Think wisely and then decide as there are some situations where working without Cloud can be better.
We are using Cloud, so fire the IT department right now. Cloud vendors will mention that they provide complete technical support, but you need to understand that that ‘complete technical support’ is limited to your Cloud Computing needs only. Their support is not going to fix the issue in your sales department’s printer. Cloud Computing can reduce the need for an IT team but it cannot eliminate it completely.
Myths among Cloud opponent SMBs
The blunt way to start is; opposing Cloud Computing is not doing any good to your business in most cases. There are many SMBs who do not trust the power of Cloud Computing, the technology meant to enhance efficiency and productivity ten-fold, and mostly for reasons that do not have sustenance. If any of the below mentioned myths about Cloud Computing are preventing you from adopting it, then you are just killing your own business.
Vendor is spying on our data. We regularly come across news about Cloud vendors taking a stand against different government agencies, who are forcing them to share data. This indicates that Cloud vendors do not want to give up customer data for anything. Data privacy is the key point of Cloud Computing and vendors will have to risk nearly their whole business in order to compromise it.
Security issues. Most of the Cloud vendors adopt the latest security methods and end-to-end encryption techniques to keep the data stored in a format that cannot be read, even by the vendors themselves. Data decrypts are issued at the user-end, and only then to authenticated users. Many cyber security experts have mentioned that Cloud security is much better than usual security methods adopted by businesses. So, considering it to be a weak link is far from reality.
Cloud Computing requires high expenses. Cloud Computing requires expenses for sure, but compared to the physical hardware and software setup that it can replace, Cloud Computing is a great money-saving package. Not just in purchasing the devices, but the maintenance cost is also significantly reduced as most of the Cloud vendors provide free maintenance support.
Cloud Computing is slow and inefficient. Nowhere close to the truth. Cloud Computing offers some amazing features, such as; remote access to services, flexibility in device sharing, real-time collaboration, change trackers, etc. All of these make productivity smoother and faster. If you are using the slowest internet connections, then you cannot blame Cloud for being slow.
Business without Cloud is possible. Does your business have a hosted website? Or do you use Gmail, Outlook, etc.? Is some of your data stored on Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.? A ‘yes’ to any of these questions means you are already a part of the Cloud Computing world. Cloud Computing is way larger than these services and there are many more ways in which your business is being served by Cloud Computing.
It keeps a small business small. This comes as the biggest surprise that many SMBs believe Cloud Computing limits the expanding abilities of business. Many of the biggest firms in different businesses have relied on, and made good use of Cloud Computing. You can easily switch to larger plans when your business grows. Cloud Computing is the easiest network to expand because of its flexibility. Furthermore, it saves a good sum on physical setup that adds to your expense saving. Delivering better productivity solutions at a lower cost- how does that limit business?
A noticeable inference that appears from these myths about Cloud Computing is that those who oppose it are afraid of the changes it offers. Perhaps, their unwillingness to accept something that they have not experienced has created some misconceptions. On the other hand, myths present among the businesses in support of Cloud Computing highlights their ‘taking for granted’ and ‘trusting too much’ attitude. Like many other cyber technologies, Cloud Computing too has its own highs and lows, and not being aware of them can cause damage to your own business. So, while making any decision on Cloud Computing, make sure that the facts are supporting your decision.
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By Nishant Kadian