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From increased efficiency and cost savings to workload scalability and speed, cloud computing is becoming a business imperative for companies of all shapes and sizes to compete in their respective markets. In fact, Comptia's latest Trends in Cloud Computing report reveals that 90 percent of companies currently leverage cloud computing in some way, while IDC estimates total spending on cloud IT infrastructure alone to increase by 18.2 percent in 2017 to reach $44.2 billion. But despite this growth, several cloud myths and fallacies have taken root among the IT community, causing confusion that may explain why that final 10 percent has yet to make the cloud jump.
"In order to fully embrace the cloud, organizations must cut through the myths and the hype to identify the cloud strategy that will best support their business"
In this article, I will address some of the prevailing myths about cloud platforms to help readers avoid common pitfalls and prepare for a migration to a cloud infrastructure:
Myth 1: Moving to the public cloud is all about the total cost of ownership
While lowering the total cost of ownership and freeing your business of the expense of owning and maintaining infrastructure is a definite advantage for certain applications and workloads, public cloud computing can also accelerate business transformation through agility, innovation, scalability and faster time to market. It is also important to understand, however, that while IT resource consumption is flexible in a public cloud environment, the contract underlying those services may not be as flexible. Picking the right instance type is vital for cost savings: each instance needs to be just powerful enough for the workload it will run. A cloud management platform assists in minimizing public cloud costs, allowing you to track and control your public cloud spending.
Myth 2: You can’t directly control your data in the cloud
Logically, one might think that the best way to protect your data is to keep it close by - on premise. However, when data remains in-house, the number of people in your organization with access can easily create a problem. When you choose a cloud provider to host your data, it comes with a team of experts to protect it, along with enterprise-level infrastructure providing redundancy, backup, and recovery services that will continuously protect your data. Data residency regulations can also complicate your strategy by placing limitations on where data can be stored, and selecting a cloud provider with a global footprint and expertise in data accountability can mitigate those complications.
Myth 3: It’s impossible to achieve public cloud security and compliance
The fact is, most security breaches are not the fault of a cloud provider—the majority are on-premise breaches. Cloud computing doesn’t introduce any new or unforeseen vulnerabilities, and can in fact provide a unified platform for conducting and verifying compliance audits. Global cloud providers have expertise in (and deep pocket budgets for) security, including continuous monitoring, virus protection, and firewall security.
Myth 4: Moving to the cloud can actually be too costly
Many businesses choose to take an incremental approach to cloud adoption because of concerns about cost. For example, they may first move applications such as email, word processing, or data storage to the cloud before committing larger, business-critical applications to a new platform. Organizations that take this approach via private cloud often see such an impact on the bottom line and productivity that they don’t even consider a public cloud provider. But by leveraging a cloud management platform, organizations can keep public cloud expenses in check. With automation and analytics you can further reduce cloud costs by configuring a power schedule for non-production instances, decommissioning instances when they’re no longer needed, and make use of pre-purchased or Reserved Instances (RIs) to lower your monthly bill.
Myth 5: The cloud requires more IT management
There may be a spike in IT management resources and effort initially, as organizations migrate applications the cloud. However, once that process is completed, the IT team no longer needs to manage the software, hardware and data protection of the migrated applications and the associated data. The reality is that every application that moves to a cloud infrastructure helps IT teams reduces maintenance costs and management overhead. Taking things one step further and implementing self-service automation—allowing users to provision systems themselves on demand—means that your IT team is freed from simple tasks and empowered to focus on more complex, strategic initiatives, while your DevOps teams can quickly benefit from your private and public cloud infrastructure.
While myths around cloud computing continue to prevail, the reality is that organizations that let their concerns slow adoption are already lagging behind the competition. Regardless of which approach you take—private, public or hybrid, each has its own set of integration and management challenges. But the benefits of the cloud—agility, flexibility, and speed—are well on their way from competitive advantage to table stakes, and organizations can no longer afford to ignore them. In order to fully embrace the cloud, organizations must cut through the myths and the hype to identify the cloud strategy that will best support their business.