5 Cloud Computing Myths You Should Know

Apr 20, 2011

Cloud Computing Keyboard.jpgCloud computing is a hot topic of conversation everywhere from magazine articles and blogs to TV commercials. Like every major computing innovation, myths crop up and confuse the reality. Here are five myths about cloud computing and some simple truth to help dispel them.

1. Cloud computing has security and privacy issues. The simple truth is, the cloud can have security and privacy issues, but it doesn’t have to. You are trusting your data to someone else, and transmitting it over a public communication channel. Without some assurances, you are right to be concerned about security and privacy.  But most providers address these problems. You need to pay careful attention to your agreement with your provider. Make sure your concerns are taken care of to your satisfaction. The bottom line is security and privacy risks can vary by provider.

2. Cloud computing is fraught with reliability issues. Reliability issues are more of a concern with consumer cloud applications. Most business providers have agreements to meet certain levels of availability. You will not get 5 nines (99.999% uptime), but most providers guarantee 99.98% or better.  The reality is there are very reliable providers available, but service can vary. Again, go over your agreement with your provider carefully before signing on.

3. Switching to cloud is as easy as flipping a switch. It’s just not true. Anytime you move data from one platform to another it requires planning. There will also be training for IT staff or end-users in an organization transitioning to a new platform. A good provider can ease the transition, but it will take time and effort. Unfortunately, there is no magic switch.

4. Switching cloud vendors is easy. If switching to cloud were as easy as flipping a switch, switching vendors would also be easy. It’s not. While improvements are also coming on-line, it is typically more difficult to transition between cloud vendors than to transition to cloud in the first place. The caution here is to choose your vendor carefully.

5. The cloud is for small businesses only.  While small businesses can certainly benefit from the shared resources and scalability offered by a cloud platform, large enterprises have also found benefits by transitioning to the cloud. Mundane applications such as e-mail or archiving have proven to be very cost effective on the cloud even for the biggest corporations.

The Reality of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing offers many advantages and benefits for certain applications to any size enterprise. Like any other tool, the user has to determine how best to apply it in any given situation. How can it best work for you?

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