From an over-hyped security issue to a necessary business driver, cloud computing has come a long way in the past few years. This technology has been rapidly adopted by businesses of all verticals, thanks to its cost, flexibility and scalability benefits. In fact, cloud computing has fundamentally changed the way companies, large and small alike, buy and use IT as a service.
Despite the huge impact of cloud, industry myths and concerns still surround and often clog its real value. In fact, most concerns revolve around cost savings and security issues, putting fear into the hearts of many users. This not only distracts cloud users from real progress but also impedes innovation.
In this article, I want to debunk four dangerous assumptions about cloud computing and help businesses make more informed decisions in regards to the cloud.
This is perhaps the biggest and most stubborn myth associated with cloud computing that just refuses to go away. The reality is, your data in the cloud is as safe as it would be in your own network. People usually believe that anything outside their “physical control” is less secure – and this is the only possible explanation for the propagation of this misinformation.
Security of your data is obviously important, as a simple slip can result in loss of valuable business data, or worse, cost your market reputation dearly. So the concern is understandable. But what makes you believe that giant cloud providers like Microsoft and Amazon won’t be taking enough precautions to secure their environments? In fact, they know how to secure data in ways most of us can never imagine, as we typically lack the technical resources, depth and expertise they’ve invested in cyber security.
If security concerns are stopping you from cloud deployment, understand that your cloud hosting provider also shares this responsibility. A good cloud hosting provider typically invests in multiple security measures, ranging from dedicated firewalls and intrusion detection systems to advanced encryption and more secure data centres. It is, in fact, next to impossible for any single organization (yours included) to match the network security provided by cloud hosting companies.
Cloud computing offers significant cost benefits over onsite deployments. In fact, a lot of businesses invest in cloud with the sole intention of saving money. But there is something else you need to consider as well. It is true that prices are coming down, especially for IaaS, or Infrastructure as a service. Then again, this is not applicable to all cloud services – there is a clear rise in the cost of SaaS (Software as a Service) products over the past couple of years, and they started out more expensive than their desktop counterparts.
You need to understand that cloud is not all about money. In fact, this assumption can limit your business decisions. Saving money is just one of the benefits of cloud. Gartner’s 2014 CIO Survey revealed that cost savings represents just 14 percent of the reasons behind public cloud deployment. What’s more important for CIOs is agility, allowing teams to perform better.
When it comes to cloud computing, don’t just assume that it will help you save a lot of money without analysing the whole situation. Understand the cost of ownership and analyze the situation on a case-by-case basis. What are the implications? What are the ways cloud deployment can help your team and your business as a whole? You need to look beyond financial issues to determine the true potential of cloud.
It is true that cloud computing is beneficial for businesses of all sizes and across all industries, as it offers streamlined processes, flexibility, faster delivery time, infrastructure cost savings, and so on. But all scenarios do not always benefit from using the cloud cloud within your IT infrastructure.
For example, it isn’t advisable to move your legacy application into cloud, unless of course you are aiming for cost savings. Based on their needs, many businesses are combining two or three options such as investing in the public cloud for certain tasks and depending on a private cloud for others, while keeping the their legacy applications on dedicated hosting. The whole idea behind cloud and offsite deployment is to provide the right solution to a particular problem or inefficiency.
If you have an older Enterprise-level application, depending on your situation, sometimes the best practice is to continue with your dedicated server. Moving into the cloud can be time and resource intensive, and not worth the effort if there are delays, implementation issues or functionality changes, which, as we all know, according to Murphy ‘s Law, will invariably crop up. The bottom line is that if you think cloud won’t benefit a particular process, don’t shy away from implementing non-cloud solutions.
As said, a lot of myths associated with cloud computing revolve around security issues and this is just another classic example. The concept of cloud is fundamentally based on shared resources. So if you opt for a public cloud, there would naturally be other tenants sharing the storage, processing, and other services of the same data center. In fact, many public cloud providers deliver services from multiple data centers that are shared by numerous tenants. The myth that cloud tenants can steal – or at least view – each other’s data basically originated from this “shared” nature of cloud computing.
If you believe this, then you’ve heard of this thing called virtualization! The cloud leverages this technology to compartmentalize services offered to them, not unlike shared or VPS hosting. It’s similar to a lot of people living in the same building but separated by strong walls between them, ensuring privacy.
Data spying by other cloud tenants is truly a rare occasion, although not unheard of. So if this is a huge concern and are worried about privacy of your data, it is advisable to implement another layer of security by keeping your sensitive data in a private cloud environment and accessing it through an isolated VLAN.
Cloud into the Future
In today’s world, cloud technology has a direct bearing on how we work, in many ways. No one can deny the benefits cloud computing brings to us and the possibilities they will unlock in the future. Now that we have debunked some of the most common Myths of using the cloud, I hope you can make a better decision if the cloud may be the correct step for your business.
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