There are many myths surrounding the public cloud, with the most common surrounding cost and security. The public cloud is defined as computing services offered by third-party providers over the public internet, making them available to anyone who wants to use or purchase them.1 Myths can have a negative impact as they can impede innovation and distract decision makers from possible progress. Below we will find out if your perception is closer to reality, or if you are falling prey to the myths surrounding cloud computing.
Myth 1: Moving to cloud is always about saving money
It is true that organisations can often save costs by moving to the cloud. However, there are two things wrong with the assumption that organisations always move to the cloud to save money. Firstly, moving to the cloud may not always cut costs, and one cannot assume this unless they have really analysed the specific situation. Secondly, it isn’t always the main reason to move to cloud – Gartner’s 2014 CIO survey shows that cost savings account for only 14% of the reasons for organisations’ use of the public cloud2 – there are many other benefits (beyond financial ones) that may outweigh the cost savings associated, and justify the move.
Myth 2: There is only one cloud
It is commonly believed that there is only one public cloud which may lead to weakened security around infrastructure. However, there are many cloud providers – AWS, Microsoft, and Google, to name a few – which all have their own infrastructure and are all separate from one another. You can make the best choice for your organisation.
Myth 3: Cloud isn’t as secure as on-premise
Cloud is often perceived as less secure than on-premise. As pointed out by Forbes, to date, there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud — most breaches continue to involve on-premises data centre environments2. This may be because it is in cloud providers’ best interest to ensure security. Despite cloud providers applying extremely strong security measures, security is still a shared responsibility between those cloud providers and IT professionals. This is because IT professionals must still set policies and configure applications properly.
Myth 4: The Cloud should be used for everything
Not everything should be put on the cloud. For example, the cloud is not appropriate for all applications. All applications should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Forbes notes, the cloud fits best where value is placed on flexibility and the business has the ability to consume and pay for only what is needed when needed.2
Myth 5: You don’t need a strategy when implementing the Cloud
Many companies don’t have a cloud strategy in place, and they are adopting the cloud purely because the CEO wants it. A cloud strategy should address business goals and map out the ways the cloud could benefit the organisation, while also being aware of its potential drawbacks. It is important to lay out these goals before implementing the cloud, and then working to a timeline that has clear milestones to be achieved along the way.
Myth 6: Cloud data is public
As stated by Tech Target, whilst it is true that data hosted for free is often analysed by companies, such as the data you keep on Facebook or Gmail, (which is then used for marketing purposes) any pay-to-play public cloud services have strong privacy and security guarantees as a part of their business model.3 Therefore it is in the provider’s best interest to make the cloud as secure and private as possible.
As we have seen, it is important to not get caught up in the myths surrounding cloud computing and the public cloud, as this can inhibit your organisation’s ability to drive innovation and progress. While moving to the cloud can often save money, it is not the only reason to do so, and a thorough cost analysis should be done beforehand to ensure a cost saving will be achieved. There are many public cloud providers, and the cloud should not necessarily be used for everything. The cloud is exceptionally secure, contrary to common belief, and the data is not public. Finally, it is important to have a proper strategy in place before moving to the cloud, just because a decision maker wants it to be so is not enough. By understanding the realities (and not being caught up by the myths) of cloud computing, you will be able to facilitate a move that will be wholly beneficial to your organisation whilst also ensuring you are equipped to function in the workplace of the future.