We hear them time and time again when new companies approach us for cloud solutions. “Are you sure our data is safe in the cloud?” or “The technology is too new to be reliable” or “My business is too small to really benefit from cloud solutions.”
These kinds of cloud computing myths have been circulating practically since cloud was invented and they largely stem from a fundamental misunderstanding of what the cloud is, how it operates, and how businesses can use it to their advantage.
Debunking 15 common myths about cloud computing
Because ‘cloud’ is such an all-encompassing concept, there are plenty of myths out there that need debunking. Let’s jump straight in by taking a look at some of the cloud security myths and cloud misconceptions that we hear most often:
1. Transitioning To The Cloud Is Quick And Easy
Making the switch to cloud services takes a good deal of planning, and if it’s done effectively, is a slow process. This ensures that your operations are able to continue uninterrupted, rather than making the switch all at once and having all of your systems go offline. The right cloud service provider will prioritise a smooth transition over a longer period involving rigorous testing to ensure everything is working as it should, over a speedy switch where everything falls over.
2. Migration To The Cloud Means Extended Downtime
This is definitely one of those myths in cloud computing that can be put down to the wrong provider being used. Those who believe that cloud means downtime are in the opposite camp to those who think it’s quick and easy, and neither are correct. When done right, cloud migration does take time, and it’s because your provider does everything they can to ensure minimum disruption to your operations, and as little downtime as possible.
3. If You’re Going Cloud, You Have To Go All In
Hybrid cloud doesn’t only refer to a mix of public and private cloud services. It can also mean a hybrid approach to adopting cloud computing. In fact, most businesses will go through a phase where both on premises and cloud solutions are in use, since the migration to the cloud, when done right, is a lengthy and detailed process, and on premises solutions will remain active during the transition to ensure as little operational downtime as possible.
4. The Cloud Only Comes In One Size
Cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and that’s actually why so many businesses are adopting it. Cloud computing services are flexible and adaptable, so they can be configured to meet any business’ needs.
Better still, once you’ve started using cloud solutions, you can adjust them as your needs change. Need more storage? No problem. Need more processing power? Ditto. Experiencing an upsurge in business over Black Friday and need more memory, but only until the end of the month? You can upgrade and downgrade components as you see fit.
5. My Business Is Too Small For Cloud Computing
SMEs are really perfectly placed to take full advantage of cloud computing services, since they are most often the businesses that aren’t able to afford large down payments for on premises infrastructure, or the security tools that are necessary to protect them. Cloud solutions make these facilities and tools more readily available at a predictable monthly cost, making it easier for small businesses to use tools and secure their data when they may otherwise not have had the capital readily available to do so.
6. Cloud Services Are More Expensive
It’s actually a lot easier to operate with a predictable monthly spend when you use cloud computing solutions. That’s not to say that cloud is cheaper than on premises, but you can budget more effectively, because there are few huge down payments or unexpected expenses involved. The flexibility that cloud offers also means that you’re able to upgrade and downgrade from month to month – a functionality that just isn’t feasible with on premises solutions, since upgrading requires the purchase of physical equipment and hardware, making it only affordable when that increase in capacity is required long-term.
7. Cloud Storage And Cloud Backup Are The Same Thing
So many businesses believe that just by storing their data in the cloud, it is automatically backed up and recoverable if something goes awry. But cloud backup is an entirely different solution, and one that businesses need to invest in separately from cloud storage in order to ensure that their data is protected, both from attack, and from human error.
Services like Microsoft 365’s OneDrive and SharePoint do have recycle bins, where deleted files are retained, but this only applies for 28 days by default, and is not the same as having a backup that can be restored if disaster strikes or if files were accidentally deleted more than a month ago.
8. You Need To Use One Single Cloud Provider For Everything
With so many different cloud computing services available for businesses to take advantage of, there’s no need to limit yourself to a single provider. What is important however, is that you put a Cloud Access Broker in place, which will help you to effectively track the different clouds apps and services being used across your company, and protect the data that is being transferred to them. This will also reduce the risks associated with Shadow IT, where your humans are using solutions that make their jobs easier to manage, but without your IT department knowing anything about it, making it difficult for them to manage your cybersecurity overall.
9. You Have To Use Private Cloud If You Want To Stay Safe
Private cloud can be more secure if it’s being effectively managed, but not all of your data needs the intricate control that private cloud services allow for.
Public cloud services are still a secure solution. The big difference is that your cloud service provider controls how public services are managed, updated, and patched, and that the servers themselves are shared. You still maintain full control over who has access to your data, and can still maintain a high level of security at a more affordable rate. This makes public cloud services the perfect solution for the majority of your data, while private cloud services our ideal for storing sensitive information.
10. You Have To Choose Public Or Private. You Can’t Have Both
This is actually one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing – that you can use a public cloud provider to meet some of your needs, while still taking advantage of the advanced control and security that you need from private cloud facilities where necessary. It’s part of what makes cloud computing so flexible, adaptable, and affordable, because you really can minutely manage your data storage and expenditure, spending extra for advanced features where and when you need them, without breaking the bank.
11. The Cloud Is Difficult To Audit
The idea behind this cloud computing myth is that it’s easier to hand over a collection of printed files and invoices for an IT audit, or a hard drive containing data, than to delve through data stored in the cloud. But the reality is that providing necessary parties with the right access to your data is actually far easier when you’re using cloud services.
Cloud services also allow for more in-depth data management, access control, and security thanks to labelling, encryption, group level permissions, and more.
12. The Cloud Makes It Difficult To Be Compliant
Because cloud services allow more control over data management, they actually make it far easier for your information to be stored and processed in compliance with regulations like South Africa’s POPI Act and the EU’s GDPR.
Without cloud services, it can be difficult to monitor how data is being shared and ensure that its storage complies with local laws. With cloud services, compliance and audit is made far simpler, since you can label and encrypt personally identifiable details, prevent them from being transferred, and ensure that relevant information is stored in local data centres, all while still maintaining access to it from wherever you are in the world.
13. Cloud Computing Is Only Good For Storage And Analytics
Cloud computing encompasses such a wide range of different services, from virtual machines that make development easier, to cloud VoIP, to tools for managing sales, simplifying marketing, effective warehouse provisioning, and so much more.
Yes, there are excellent storage facilities and exceptional data analytics capabilities, but to suggest that these are the only uses for cloud computing is to severely underestimate the platforms that are available, and to lack imagination.
14. The Cloud’s Mission Is To Do Away With Data Centres
Cloud computing still relies on data centres for its operations. Public cloud solutions in particular require data centres for effective service distribution. The big difference here is that cloud computing takes the responsibility for managing data centres out of your business’ hands and places it within your cloud service provider’s role, allowing for more efficient and effective management with less risk to your company. There are still going to be cases where your business may need more control over your resources, or where you want to manage your own data centre on premises. Private cloud facilities may be advantageous in these instances, but even then it’s not so much cloud doing away with data centres, but optimising their performance and making it easier for you to take control when needed and even simplifying the process of managing your own data centre.
15. Cloud Services Are Less Secure
People have these misconceptions about cloud technology, thinking that on premises solutions are the most secure because it is more difficult to physically access them. In truth, your servers are only safe as long as they are effectively maintained, and it is far easier to maintain cloud servers then on premises ones. Yes, on premises solutions are harder to access, but in the vast majority of cases, this is more a problem than a benefit.
Components need to be physically upgraded at a much higher expense, and performing updates, patches, and upgrades requires you to have a person on site, taking them away from their usual role for far more time than a cloud update or upgrade would need. And during the transitional phase when your on-premises solutions are being updated, your servers are at far more risk from human error.
How Can Solid Systems Help?
As you may be able to tell, most of the cloud computing myths that I’ve looked at here are caused by a good deal of confusion over what cloud is, and how companies can take advantage of it. Some of them may even be based on the negative experiences that businesses have had with cloud service providers in the past!
This is why it’s critical to get the right advice when it comes to cloud adoption. At Solid Systems, our team of experienced IT pros are ready to help you with all of your cloud consulting needs, ensuring that you’re making the right decisions when it comes to the cloud services that you adopt, and that you’re making the most of cloud solutions you may already have in place.
If you’re ready to take your business’ cloud adoption to the next level, book a consult with us today.