With more than 90% of businesses using cloud technology in some way or another, it would be right to say that it has quickly entered the mainstream as businesses realise its benefits. However, for many organisations implementing it is no easy ride and for those not using it, the prospect of cloud can be daunting.
Their hesitations are threefold; firstly it takes a lot of time investment to educate decision makers in the business on why they should use their resources on investing in new infrastructure when legacy systems ‘do the job’. Secondly, recent high-profile security breaches have brought data security to the attention of people even outside of the IT department, meaning they hook on to the perceived risks of the cloud without considering the full strategy. There’s also a lack of awareness of the different offerings available, meaning some organisations are even getting ahead of themselves and implementing cloud-only environments believing it is the best solution.
As the cloud continues to move into the mainstream, it is time to acknowledge and bust the various myths surrounding it.
Myth 1: It’s all or nothing when deciding to take our business into cloud
By 2020, an estimated 24% of IT will be cloud-based. Forward-thinking businesses have begun to take note of this trend and have adopted that an ‘all or nothing’ approach is the best way to get ahead of the game. However, an organisation needs first to consider its business objectives and the technology available to gain a clear understanding of what kind of solution it requires to help it reach its goals.
If the organisation is fairly stationary, migrating data into the cloud might not be the best solution for their business. Alternatively, if hosting a versatile, agile and completely mobile workforce is the aim, then moving more of the company’s data into the cloud rather than hosting it on-premise could be the right way forward.
While the cloud can be secure when understood and managed properly; businesses must ensure they follow a structured approach to their IT infrastructure. Such an approach involves various steps; exploring the options that are available them, crafting and planning a model that aligns to their specific requirements and finally, delivering end user training means it can be used to its maximum potential.
Myth 2: Purchasing ‘off the shelf’ IT for my business is the best approach
One of the main benefits of cloud computing for businesses is the increased efficiency it brings as services that would usually take months to deploy can be ready to use in minutes.
Technology is continually advancing with new services and devices being introduced to the market every day, and its human nature to be excited when the latest gadgets are introduced. However, each solution and business are unique and a one-solution-fits-all approach does not translate into an effective cloud strategy that will deliver on investment.
Therefore, an assessment of the volume of the data your organisation needs to retain; the scale of your organisation; and your budgets, are all factors to be considered when purchasing dedicated cloud solutions. What’s more, organisations will need to spend time thoroughly reviewing all prospective IT in line with their future objectives and goals of the business.
Myth 3: Cloud only benefits big organisations
Today, organisations across all sectors, big and small, can experience a multitude of benefits from using cloud offerings.
One of the biggest benefits for SMBs, in particular, is the significant savings it can provide, particularly in that, it helps organisations lower operational costs. Cloud technology means better flexibility as files can be accessed from any device, at any time and in any place. This means SMBs can cater to more flexible working arrangements and even BYOD. However where cloud pays off for SMBs is in allowing their businesses to grow by giving space to test new products, while only paying for what they use.
With a pay-as-you-use cloud model that allows new technologies to be easily integrated into existing IT infrastructure, businesses are able to be agiler, innovate faster and reduce their reliance on costly legacy systems.
With the right management and understanding of the cloud, organisations big or small across all sectors can choose to find the solution that works best for their culture and business goals.