Five Cloud Myths Dispelled

Since 2011, the usage of cloud services has strongly increased. Around 66% of all German companies rely on cloud computing (KPMG, Cloud-Monitor 2018). This increase shows the popularity of digitization solutions in cloud computing matters. However, Germany is still one of the most sceptical countries globally. We want to use this blog post today to dispel five common and popular myths about the cloud.

Most companies have already considered a complete or partial switch of some services or the entire infrastructure to the cloud. But given the wide variety of information, many are uncertain about what this change actually means or what the associated risks are. To alleviate some of your doubts, we want to debunk popular myths which mainly revolve around the area of Software as a Service (SaaS).

 

1. As soon as data is moved to the cloud, a company loses control of it.

When thinking about the cloud, company management or IT administrators often have the uncomfortable feeling of completely losing control of their infrastructure and handing the business over to strangers, as it were. However, this should be viewed from a completely different perspective: there is, in fact, no direct influence on the company or the maintenance of servers and their operating systems, but this does not mean a complete loss of control. Of course, you’re handing over physical control on the one hand, but on the other hand, you’re very likely handing it over to an organization that is better equipped than your own at managing computer environments. Furthermore, eliminating these time-consuming activities that require a lot of planning, offers the opportunity to use more resources to focus on the actual requirements of the end user, as well as clear guidelines and optimization of the company. These can still be significantly influenced.

 
2. It is more secure to store data locally than in the cloud.

According to a study published in 2018, 62% of company IT managers say that on-premises security is better than the cloud. This proves that many users still have major security doubts about the cloud. These are however based around general uncertainty. Until now, there have been very few security breaches in the public cloud, while most breaches still arise in on-premises environments. For SMEs in particular, cybersecurity poses a particular challenge, as 43% of all cyber attacks target small and medium-sized companies. This can be traced back to the fact that they are often less well-protected than large companies.

Decision-makers should always consider the following in the context of data storage: securing IT infrastructures is a full-time job requiring several responsible experts. If time or knowledge is lacking, dangerous security gaps can occur. Furthermore, security requirements have significantly changed in recent years. In a mobile-first world, IT security no longer only affects in-house devices, but a variety of different personal and private devices, whose communication needs to be encrypted and secure in order to prevent attacks and avoid data losses. Reputable cloud providers guarantee 99.9 percent availability of their services. These by default also meet all the usual requirements and certifications in regard to data protection and compliance on all devices used. They thus set high standards that would be difficult for many companies to reach or finance on their own.
Using this provides your experts with the opportunity to not only focus on the upcoming maintenance of existing systems but rather to have an influence on developing the company in relation to technology and digitization.

 

3. I need to move everything to the cloud, it’s an all-or-nothing scenario.

Cloud or local? All or nothing! Fact or myth? In fact, you have the choice of several possibilities. You can run your IT on local servers, move all applications and data to the cloud or implement a so-called hybrid environment. A simple example of running local and cloud services in parallel, in the form of a hybrid solution, is outsourcing the email server to the cloud as a hosted exchange service, while continuing to run database and file servers locally.

 

4. The constant updates of cloud services have a negative effect on my business-critical applications.

One of the most common concerns about Software as a Service is that the automatic background updates could affect business-critical company applications. It should, however, be noted that cloud providers make sure to carefully examine and thoroughly test the updates before they are rolled out and installed on systems. Customer satisfaction and the functionality of their infrastructure is extremely important to cloud providers. 

 

5. I can only use cloud-based SaaS applications online.

It is often wrongly assumed that cloud applications are only available online and cannot be used without an internet connection. However, the example of Office 365 shows that this is completely untrue: unlike with the previously common device licensing for local services, any user of Office 365 can use the applications not only on their stationary PC but on five other desktop computers. Furthermore, the license is valid for five tablets and five smartphones – a total of 15 devices at the same time. While it is true that SaaS applications use the internet to connect to the client, most services including Office 365 can also be used offline. Users, therefore, can access and edit emails or documents without an active internet connection, for example on a plane or on the train. Synchronization takes place automatically when the connection is reestablished.

Digitization is undoubtedly a flowing process and not a result that is set in stone. Despite all the myths and biases, you decide yourself which services you want to use and when and where. Whether it’s the cloud or not the cloud heavily depends on your needs and the requirements of your company.