The Cloud doesn’t always get the best reputation.
While the cloud computing continues to gain traction in enterprises and small businesses all over the world, I’d like to set the record straight on some fallacies that ‘cloud’ the issue. This article will address five of the most common misconceptions of cloud hosting, in hopes to restore the clouds good name.
1. The Cloud is not as secure as On-Premises Hosting
Actually, the cloud is often more secured than on-premises hosting. Too often, businesses confuse the idea that ‘if they can see it, it’s safe’ when the reality is that this makes it even more prone to attack or accidents.
When hosting your data on-premises, your IT team will be swamped with constantly having to monitor and troubleshoot the environment, daily backups, patching and updates, often not leaving time to focus on security requirements. This is particularly important for businesses in heavily regulated industries, such as the healthcare and banking industries, where businesses are required to stay compliant with the most recent security standards.
By hosting in the cloud, the hosting provider will maintain and keep all security requirements up-to-date for your business. In addition, your data will be protected by the expertise of an aggressive security strategy. Typically, small to mid-sized companies cannot invest in the quality security that their data demands, but hosting providers are able to offer the latest compliances and competencies thanks to the shared cost of their clients. Don’t comprise your data by not having a state-of-the-art security strategy in place.
2. We can’t afford the Cloud – it’s way too expensive!
Many companies assume that by keep their hosted environment in-house they’ll save money. While every company wants to squeeze the best ROI from a deployment, they must look at the big picture.
In reality, there are many costs that companies who host on-premises would not have to pay for if they chose to host in the cloud. These costs include upfront licensing costs, overtime for infrastructure maintenance and upkeep, equipment replacements in the event of failures or depreciation, training and on-going certifications necessary to run your environment efficiently, and there’s always those surprise costs that arise…
In comparison, with private cloud hosting there is no training or maintenance required. Instead, you have one predictable monthly payment for all your infrastructure needs. In addition, the less time that your IT team has to spend on infrastructure maintenance, the more time they can spend on bigger projects that can positively impact the company’s bottom line. Cloud computing solutions offer companies the long-term cost savings solution that makes CTOs proud – not just a “quick fix”.
3. I’m a small business – the Cloud is not for me!
Quite the opposite really – the cloud is truly for every business, and the benefits of cloud hosting can sometimes be seen more quickly for small businesses rather than for enterprise companies.
No longer will small businesses have to worry about software and hardware licenses, or equipment maintenance and replacements that require large, last-minute costs. The cloud works well for small businesses because it is flexible, secure, and works on a pay-as-you-go module, so you always know what is coming in your bill each month and can budget accordingly.
As mentioned previously, the cloud also gives an advantage to a smaller business by giving it the enterprise security and performance that were not possible before on a modest budget.
4. All clouds are the same, so it won’t fit my unique business needs.
Unlike robes at a hotel, clouds are not one-size-fits-all. Cloud computing comes in three forms: public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds.
a. Public clouds
These are multi-tenant environments in which multiple companies share the same off-site infrastructure managed by a hosting provider. The public cloud is often a great out-of-the-box solution for companies that do not need any additional customization or will not need extra capacity. However, because public clouds are shared environments, they are more vulnerable to security issues than private clouds.
b. Private clouds
Compared to public clouds, private clouds have the greatest levels of security, customization and control. Private clouds are often more complex because of those features, which makes outsourcing an easy choice. Let the hosting provider worry about the complex details and you can relax knowing your data is always safe and secure. Private cloud solutions are best for companies that need a solution that offers greater customization and control than public clouds. It is particularly attractive to companies that require top-of-the-line security strategies to comply with government security standards. The private cloud also offers reliability – a great solution for companies needing to store critical data. But, what if you want both the public and private cloud?
c. Hybrid clouds
Luckily you can have best of both worlds with the hybrid cloud. Hybrid cloud hosting solutions are often a great solution for companies wanting to keep non-critical or confidential data on-premises or in the public cloud, while storing critical data on a private cloud with greater security and reliability. This solution can prove to be a great stepping-stone for enterprise level companies who have already invested in an on-site infrastructure. They don’t have to do away with their equipment, but they can still receive the security, customization, and reliability benefits that the private cloud offers.
5. I will lose all control of my data!
Don’t worry – just because your data is in the cloud doesn’t mean it’s out of reach. On the contrary, when you host your data in a private cloud you still have full access to your environment to make changes and customizations as needed.
Your data is still yours, moving it to the cloud doesn’t make it the property of the hosting provider. The hosting provider is there to ensure the security of your data, not keep you from it.