Debunking myths about the Cloud
Cloud computing is a relatively recent phenomenon. Or so it seems. In fact, that’s one of the main myths. The term itself may well have been coined in a Compaq business development plan as far back as 1996 – although nobody knows for certain. Whatever the origins, the concept of remotely held and operated software is almost a pre-requisite of the internet and web itself.
Notwithstanding this, many other myths abound that may well affect business decisions. It is important to ensure that these half truths are explained.
Fact or Fiction?
Far from being more complicated, Cloud systems are generally less so due to the very platforms they are built on. Serving pages in a different way means there is a fundamental simplicity that is often absent in more complex legacy systems.
It is not as secure as the old way
Cloud systems are potentially more secure. They are held in ultra-locked down, bomb-proof server warehouses, behind highly encrypted firewalls. Your own computer may not be as secure. (Click here for more on cloud security.)
Certainly ‘Pay as you go’ is the most common payment profile. Cloud systems lend themselves to it. They make the payment process more straightforward (and simpler for accounting purposes). One payment covers everything. However, it is by no means the only way. Most software can be paid for in a variety of ways, to suit the consumer.
Software providers are aware that there has to be a period where hybrids are offered – possibly an indefinite period. Where needed, a combination of systems will be around for some time to come. If there is no Cloud solution for one area of your business, then stick with the legacy system. It is quite possible that it can ‘speak’ to the Cloud software carrying out a different area of your work in any case.
A combination of the nature of the software (serving one element at a time and only bringing the data required), the highly robust, lightning fast servers they sit on and the rapidly increasing speed of the internet means that Cloud systems no longer have performance issues. In most tests Cloud systems kept pace with legacy counterparts.
The profound benefits inherent in the Cloud mean that the real drivers for change – the consumers – will ensure it undoubtedly the future of technology. It is already permanently integrated into our way of accessing technologies, through systems such as Gmail, i-tunes and Facebook. The mere fact that major players have invested so heavily – billions – shows it’s here to stay.
In fact, quite the opposite may be true. Whereas legacy systems almost forced you to carry on using them, Cloud systems generally have an escape method. Being built on newer technologies means the days of conflicting, incompatible data are receding. APIs and similar technologies mean data can be transferred from system to system, if needed. This also means that the software has to be better. If a system is simpler to leave, then it has to work harder to get you to stay.
The software itself and the servers it sits on will be more reliable than needed. The only potential problem is the broadband connection, but current connections are more reliable than ever, with more than 99% up time.
Integration is one of the main benefits of Cloud systems. Hybrid systems are readily available, often alongside their pure-play Cloud counterparts. Almost all Cloud iterations of existing systems have a straightforward migration process. It is after all only data and software. The way it served and the way it is held is different, but the underlying data is broadly the same.
Many Enterprise level systems are around. In fact, they can be more efficient because the nature of Cloud systems lends itself to multi-tenanted, globalised business, bringing concurrency levels that were previously not available or impractical.