For many small businesses, trusting their enterprises to cloud applications is a major leap of faith.
One reason for this reluctance are some misconceptions about cloud applications.
One cloud application leader Saad Shahzad is Chief Strategy Officer for dinCloud argues that if it was all bad, then why would companies adopt public cloud vendors at an accelerating rate?
Shahzad wants to peel the onion back a few layers and dig into some of these misconceptions.
He specifically talks about hosted virtual desktops, hosted virtual servers and second site back-up in his discussions of misconceptions but his thoughts could be applied to almost all cloud applications.
Here is his take on some of these misconceptions:
Misconception #1 – Cloud is more expensive than on-premise deployments.
Hosted virtual desktops are a simple pay-as-you-go subscription-based model where there is no CAPEX investment. Hosted virtual desktops are cheaper than traditional, thick client deployment due to higher infrastructure and storage costs on the backend coupled with high IT services costs. Hosted virtual servers help companies reduce their physical server footprint, which eliminates physical space, power, and cooling needs. Second site back-up allows companies to back-up data without purchasing a second datacenter or infrastructure by paying a cloud vendor a low monthly per GB fee. These combined cost savings help customers experience 30-50% cost savings by using a public cloud vendor.
Misconception #2 – Implementing the cloud is complicated: A common misconception among IT folks is that cloud implementation is complex and involves a lot of management. For a private cloud deployment, this is absolutely true – a company will need to purchase expensive virtualization software and hire certified IT professionals to manage that cloud – none of which guarantees performance. If you work with a public cloud provider, they will guarantee a service level performance, do all the ongoing management and there is no need to purchase any virtualization software. Public cloud providers are built on the notion of making implementation easy and simple for customers.
Misconception #3 – One size fits all: There are some large public cloud providers who think of the world as small, medium, and large – that’s just not true. The customer might have longer arms or a broader chest. There are some public cloud providers who are more of bespoke tailor and not just garments you can buy from the rack at a department store. These public cloud providers will tailor the cloud for your needs. For example, provide a custom virtual server environment to manage workloads, data, and applications; custom virtual desktops with the applications loaded on them and a full second site back-up of that environment giving the customer a rigid business continuity program.
Misconception #4 – Cloud is less secure than on-premise deployments: This is a very common misconception. A public cloud provider builds its business on security – whereas a customer might be in the business of manufacturing phones or treating patients and security is an ancillary item in their IT department. For cloud providers, security is their core competency. Most cloud providers have multiple layers of security offering different levels of encryption, anti-virus software, virtual firewalls, biometrics, access codes on racks, physical failover, second-site failover, etc. – a customer may have portions of these layers, but likely not the end-to-end security and business continuity.
Misconception #5 – If a company uses “SaaS”, it’s in the cloud. Using a Software as a Service (SaaS) application means a company is saving money on its perpetual license purchases and has the ability to scale up/down; however, it’s the SaaS provider that is in the cloud and not necessarily the customer using that application over the internet. To be in the cloud, a customer must move some of its infrastructure in the cloud – servers, desktops, storage, etc. This is where the real cost savings, enhanced security, and better manageability exists.
Saad Shahzad is Chief Strategy Officer for dinCloud, a cloud transformation company that helps organizations rapidly migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud. Follow @dinCloud on Twitter.