Cloud-based services have seeped into our everyday lives, both at home and in the office, according toStatista the global cloud based market grew by approximately 13.7% last year alone!
Due to the inherent flexibility, expertise and cost-efficiency which cloud computing can offer to small and medium sized enterprises, it is not surprising that cloud computing is growing in popularity.
Even though some organisations are becoming increasingly wise to the fact that it is something that they at least should consider adopting, others are still nervous about implementing a cloud based system into their organisation.
Below are just some of the common misconceptions about cloud-based services:
As with traditional on premise solutions, business continuity can be interrupted on cloud-based platforms. But for businesses that have a backup strategy in place, the cloud can actually be more reliable than other types of infrastructure platforms. With the cloud, data can be backed up to multiple locations and services, providing an additional level of protection through redundancy.
Cloud providers typically invest in redundant equipment because they know that equipment will fail and they know that you need to keep working through these failures. The redundancy is there to keep you working even when things do go wrong. This enables cloud providers to guarantee levels of reliability, usually with penalties to them if they do not meet these guaranteed levels.
As the importance of technology continues to grow, the imminent threat of security breaches, viruses and other malicious attacks also increases.
Without a strong knowledge of cloud-based services, it is understandable for some small businesses to be cautious about cloud computing. The idea that cloud computing is fundamentally more insecure than local storage or physical servers to store data however, is simply false.
Physical security is only as good as the room where you keep your server. Unless you have your server hard drives encrypted, it is possible for anyone who has the server to access all of the data stored on it. Physical security is therefore a major concern; how long would it take a thief to break into your office and walk off with your server?
Cloud providers have varying levels of security but most good cloud service providers will store your information in a data centre facility. Date centres are typically protected by fences, cameras and 24/7 security guards, where swipe cards and scanners must be used to gain access inside of the facility.
From a logical perspective, it is critical to secure your data from possible breaches over the network or internet. Some cloud providers will store your data on shared systems where there have been instances where cloud users have found it possible to access others’ data. This is obviously a major concern. It is therefore important to ensure that whether you deploy data in house or in the cloud that the data is adequately protected by the appropriate access policies as well as intrusion prevention systems.
Upon first glance it may seem that cloud services are an expensive option, however they can save you money (and time) in a variety of ways.
Cloud services allow businesses to more accurately plan their IT budgets, because pricing is typically clear and charged at a predictable fixed monthly fee. Due to the fact that cloud systems can also be easily scaled to meet your business’ changing requirements, there is no need to pay for additional hardware and licenses.
Time savings also come into play since the backend management of cloud services is provided by the software vendor. With no server to set up, deployment becomes a far simpler process for IT administrators. This frees up resources and lowers costs, while also increasing productivity. Cloud-based services save time, and time is money.
Unlike traditional systems which require users to be at their desks to access work files, cloud services facilitate collaboration and easy exchange of information.
Cloud services allow IT admins and other staff to work remotely from anywhere with an internet connection. In addition, the cloud provides organizations with a more scalable and flexible platform. New services and additional capacity are possible within minutes, so IT can dependably keep pace with business demands and enable the business to grow.
In an age in which businesses are under increasing pressure to receive greater value with fewer resources, cloud-based services are difficult to ignore. There will always be doubters and those who prefer on premises systems, but for those who are ready to take advantage of cloud-based services, capabilities that might otherwise be inaccessible are suddenly within reach.