Anyone landing on this page should already be acquainted with terms like public and private cloud, SaaS, IaaS, Paas, hybrid cloud, etc., so we’ll spare you the agony of reading first-grade tech literature. However, as we noted in the past time and time again, not everyone who grasps cloud computing knows what to fear and what to embrace.
For example, security remains a top concern even for tech leaders, yet cloud vendors have already proved that their heuristic systems can be much more effective at stopping cybercriminals in their tracks. But then there are also some exaggerated benefits, like the cloud being the cheaper solution 100% of the time, or that everything just works in the cloud. Below, we deal a heavy blow to 5 relentless myths about cloud computing that always claw their way up tech leaders’ spines, no matter how much evidence mounts against them..
The second coming
The messianic aura of cloud computing as a core business tool is due mostly to the media. Cloud offers great lift for many scenarios, but it’s not the secret sauce for everything. For example, unless there are clear cost savings or there is no uptick in versatility, maybe your current solution doesn’t need fixing. Not everything works smoother in the cloud either. Sure there are undeniable benefits like faster time to market, scalability, streamlined processes, and flexible infrastructure costs. But what about applications designed to take advantage of the gear they run on? Replicating the same functionality in the cloud could be a tough nut to crack.
Because cloud computing is, in many ways, synonymous with automation and simplification, many believe that it is the equivalent of the Industrial Revolution, when machines started to replace human labor. That’s actually only half true. While the cloud does render some jobs irrelevant, it actually helps create many other new job opportunities. By the end of 2015, cloud computing will have created more than 13 million jobs worldwide, according to industry watchers. Let me give you an example of just one job that the cloud has created in all corners of the world: support. Everything that sits atop of the infrastructure layer and beyond is an automated affair, but this still requires expertise to manage. Not all of us are IT gurus.
Sure, as long as you don’t play your part, it is. Nothing in the software realm is 100% airtight. It’s just a fact of life. But here’s some food for thought. Cloud vendors (most, not all) have more security protocols set in place than you’ll have fingers to count. And that beats any private system. However, there are security layers that fall in the user’s lap as well. Adrian Sanabria, senior analyst, enterprise security practice, 451 Research, had this to say during an interview on managing cloud matters: “Understand where that line is drawn. Who is responsible for what. Generally, everything on the cloud provider’s network and in their data centers is covered at a low level. However, everything above the hardware layer and lower network layers is the customer’s responsibility.”
For those who don’t necessarily fear the cloud but still prefer to be cautious, there’s always the option to go hybrid: keep sensitive data locally, outsource the apps with less security concerns. Simple, right?
All about money
Compare buying an entirely new enterprise PBX system outright versus upgrading your existing gear to a pay-per-use cloud solution. Switching to an operational expenditure model rather than a capital expenditure model is desirable for many businesses. However, it’s not always cheaper to run on the cloud either. What it can bring, however, is cost efficiency. Think about it like this. If your operations don’t undergo fluctuations, all you need is a local server running 24/7. Moving to the cloud won’t yield many compute-benefits in this scenario. However, if your business undergoes variable demands and workloads, then the cloud becomes a much more attractive prospect. When you have high demand at certain times and low demand at other times, the cloud model enables you to switch on and off in accordance with your demand periods to limit infrastructure costs. And of course there are those aspects that are much harder to measure financially, such as communication and collaboration efficiency, engagement, morale, etc. All these factors are essential productivity drivers that mustn’t be neglected.
Harmful to the environment
Clouds are dedicated solutions, meaning that everything happens on a grand scale, including powering and cooling. While clouds do consume plenty of energy, on-site data centers statistically use about twice as much power than is actually needed for cooling, lighting and maintenance. Cloud data centers are designed to be power efficient, and that includes low-voltage processors and other optimizations. Plus, many of those found near deserts have their own solar panels that not only power the entire facility, but give something back to the grid as well.