The advantages of cloud technology are varied and well-documented. Improved efficiency, faster workflow, and huge cost-savings are some of its undisputed benefits. Any business owner who has used the cloud, however, can attest to its complexity; so before using the cloud yourself, you may want to give it some more thought.
As providers of a fully managed cloud infrastructure, we believe that the cloud holds infinite possibilities for business improvement. However, we also feel duty-bound to clarify a few misconceptions, specifically regarding pricing, security, availability, and productivity.
Myth #1: Cloud storage costs way more than physical servers
To fully understand the cloud’s cost-effectiveness, consider the alternative. Physical servers require the following:
- Purchasing hardware – which means overhead and maintenance costs
- Full-time IT employees – to ensure that servers are fully functional at all times
- Software patches – that will also require investment in parts and labor
Although cloud storage requires you to make an initial expenditure for the service, physical servers require capital investment and take up real estate. And, to enjoy the same amount of storage space as a cloud server, you would need to create a veritable server farm, which requires even more spending.
Studies have shown the cost-efficiency of the cloud. These studies have accounted for things like utilization rate. Based on many organizations’ actual usage, in-house server utilization rates are typically around only 10%-25%. One of the key takeaways is that with the cloud, you purchase the storage space and maintenance that you need, with the option to scale up or down as necessary. Whereas with an on-premise solution, you pay for the equipment, maintenance, and upgrades even when you’re not maximizing its use.
The cloud is saddled with security problems
The misconception that computing in the cloud is a potential security risk comes from the fact that cloud service providers store your information in multiple data centres, leaving it vulnerable to third-party intrusion or even outright theft. It’s easy to imagine such scenarios that can wipe out your data when hosted in the cloud, but there are risks everywhere, including on-premise set-ups.
Despite this misconception, Australian start-ups are quick and eager to adopt a public cloud infrastructure because of its easy scalability, even though this type of cloud service is most commonly associated with security breaches.
To assuage your concerns about security, it might be useful to know that most cloud service providers implement controls far more sophisticated than those implemented for on-site solutions. They are in place while data is in-transit and while they’re stored in the cloud, and providers are also known to use sophisticated encryption technology to add another layer of security.
Shifting to a different cloud service provider is easy
One of the benefits of moving to the cloud is agility, but mostly in terms of your business’s operational efficiencies. There’s not much flexibility when it comes to switching between cloud providers.
Whether it’s a complete migration of your entire IT infrastructure or just transferring certain parts of the business, cloud migration requires a certain level of commitment. Renting managed virtual servers, for instance, is a service that often comes with a contract that for some customers will be costly to break.
The cloud slows processes down
This is clearly a myth because not only does cloud computing contribute to the streamlining of many organizations’ processes, it also expands their options for deploying productivity tools.
This perception can be attributed to many small businesses’ lack of familiarity with cloud technology. In a survey among small businesses about the cloud, a third of the respondents had never heard of this sort of internet-based computing while ‘67% had never purchased a cloud-based solution for their business.’
In relation to this myth is the perception that cloud technology requires great technical expertise. If your business uses email, online productivity tools such as Office 365, or any of the numerous free or paid storage and backup services, you’ve had a taste of the simplicity and efficiency of the cloud.
Depending on the nature of your business, a variety of cloud tools can perform specific productivity-enhancing functions, including sales and customer data management, file-sharing, data storage, and so much more. There’s plenty to learn about this groundbreaking technology, and we’d be happy to provide more info about all there is to know. Get in touch with Austin Technology’s Cloud Infrastructure experts to learn more.