There is absolutely no doubt cloud computing is a disruptive technology with the potential to truly revolutionize the way businesses function.
There is absolutely no doubt cloud computing is a disruptive technology with the potential to truly revolutionize the way businesses function. According to RightScale’s 2014 State of Cloud Report, 94% respondents said they were using the cloud; this gives you some indication about the popularity of the cloud. There are plenty of stories about businesses that are using cloud computing to their advantage, and if you are also planning to use the cloud as a catalyst for business transformation, it is important you get your cloud migration right.
The problem is not every business has the right idea about the cloud and everything it brings to the table. These misunderstandings result in the wrong expectations from the cloud. So, there might be a case where a business signs up for a cloud-based service, but the service deliverables are not in line with its expectations. In such cases, the business might be left wondering whether a move to the cloud was a good idea or not.
As can be imagined, such situations end up stunting business growth and need to be avoided at all costs. It’s important, therefore, that you get your cloud misunderstandings sorted out before you think about migrating to the cloud.
Let’s take a look at 3 false impressions of the cloud that need to be cleared up:
1. Pick any Cloud service, they’re all the Same
The cloud is not a one size fits all solution. Expecting all cloud services to offer the same level of support for specific applications, platforms or systems is wrong. What’s more, the security measures that ensure the safety of your data differ across various clouds and cloud service providers. Your choice of the cloud should depend on the level of security you need for your data, accessibility, reliability etc. Before you zero in on a cloud service, start by fleshing out the desired outcome from your move to the cloud. Once you have clarity on the results you want from cloud migration, you can identify the cloud service that is best suited to deliver these results.
It’s important not to see cloud as an entity that would fit all instances.
2. Your business cannot compete, if it’s not on the cloud
Let’s face it. Some of the biggest names in the industry are selling cloud services. For e.g. Amazon’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services is an integral source of the company’s revenue. Companies like Google, Microsoft etc. have invested billions of dollars in cloud infrastructure and they expect these investments to deliver returns.
These companies and plenty of other cloud vendors are leaving no stone unturned to market their services (naturally!). Obviously, the marketing materials sing paeans to cloud computing and you will be forgiven for thinking that your business won’t survive the competition if it doesn’t jump onto the cloud bandwagon.
The problem in this case is your cloud migration is prompted by cloud brainwashing. You do it because cloud service providers are asking you to do it, and not because you actually think it is good for you.
This is a huge problem because your move to the cloud might not be backed by a need based analysis of your business and what it wants to get out of the cloud. So basically you will be jumping into the cloud with your eyes closed, without a clearly etched out cloud policy. Your deployments comes across as completely unplanned, and a product of zero foresight. You can imagine the disaster that is waiting to happen in such cases.
3. “Believing” your data is secure, because the cloud service provider says so
One of the reasons why enterprises are not very sure of using cloud based services is because of the threats to the security and privacy of their organization’s information. They want to be absolutely sure they are subscribing to a cloud based solution that can keep their data extremely secure and it cannot be accessed by any unauthorized third party.
But, there are some businesses that do not discuss their security concerns with cloud providers and take their assurances with respect to security at face value. Here’s where they go wrong. There is a chance that the sensitiveness of your information will warrant a higher standard of security than that particular cloud provider might be offering; and because you have not thoroughly evaluated the security apparatus of the cloud vendor, you have no way of knowing that your data is not secure on the vendor’s servers. It’s only when there is a security breach that you realize your mistake.
When it comes to the cloud, security should not be taken for granted. You might be tempted by the bottom of the barrel subscription rates offered by certain cloud service providers, but it’s important not to lose sight of data security in the pursuance of a low cost option.
A due diligence of the cloud vendor’s security apparatus is an absolute must before you make your move to the cloud.
Like any other technology, the cloud has strengths and weaknesses and it’s important not to forget this. Problems can occur when your sole focus of attention is on the benefits the cloud can bring to your business, and you choose to ignore the weakness of the cloud model you have chosen. It’s of paramount importance you don’t turn a blind eye to them; you must have a plan in place to ensure these blind spots do not interfere with the benefits that have the potential to trigger strategic business growth.
Author Bio: Suraj Kumar is the Founder & CEO of CloudBooks – an Invoicing & Billing Software for small businesses and freelancers. He likes to solve problems related to small business and SaaS. Feel free to reach him out if you need any help.