Digital Planet: Four Common Misconceptions about Cloud Computing

My data isn’t safe

Where does your data sit now? In a server in the corner of your office maybe? How do you keep it safe? Anti-virus, a smoke detector and burglar alarm? Fair play.

Let me introduce the cloud to you… I’m talking geo-redundant data centers, automated backup, industry-leading best practices in the design and management of online services including Security Centers of Excellence, Security Development Lifecycle, Operational Security Assurance and incident response teams (through Microsoft Azure and Office 365), financially backed SLAs, National Grid power feeds, enough backup generators to sustain a week long power outage, 24/7 security staff, CCTV, motion detection and key fob access…

I rest my case. Security in the cloud is going to be tighter than your existing system. Fact.

The cloud will give me less control

Let me ask you this… when you turn your lights on, do you care when, where or how that power was generated? No. You just want the light to work, right? And if you don’t know where that power was generated, does that mean you can’t choose whereabouts you put your living room lights? Nope. And cloud is no different. Just because you can’t see where your data is, doesn’t mean you can’t be the decision maker in how your infrastructure’s designed. Your cloud provider should work with you to develop the best solution for your needs, and you have access to your data from anywhere in the world. Plus many providers offer admin rights to IT managers or departments…you just don’t get the hassle of maintaining it.

Cloud computing is more expensive than an on premise solution

Hmmm no, not true. While there may be some upfront costs to get your infrastructure moved to the cloud in the first place, this is nothing compared to the capital expenditure required to replace that server chugging away in the corner of your office every three – five years. And once you’re in the cloud, you’re in it. Everything else is pretty much a case of monthly running costs. There comes a point where that reaches break even, of course, and the cost difference between cloud and on premise balances out, but you should also take into account your reduction in IT management costs, reduced power bills from powering and cooling that server, and no more unexpected licensing bills that you haven’t accounted for.

Cloud computing is just a phase

Hang on, didn’t they say that about the television? Bet they never dreamed we’d be watching TV on the tiny devices we carry around in our pockets all day (which, by the way, we do via the power of cloud computing.)

So is it just a phase? Well believe it or not, cloud computing is actually old technology. Ok, we techies have a distorted perception of the word old (“Wait, did you buy that all signing all dancing tablet computer just yesterday? Awesome, but yeah, it’ll be old by tomorrow mate.”) But seriously, how long have you been using Hotmail? That’s cloud computing. Amazon? Yep – cloud computing. EBay, Gmail, iTunes…all cloud computing. It’s old tech. And do you really think the big boys – the Microsoft, IBMs and Googles of this world – would base their business models on “a phase”? Nah, we don’t reckon so. Cloud computing is here to stay.

By Anna via


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