The prevalence of cloud computing has brought with it a number of misconceptions and myths. A recent blog post from NEI (News - Alert), a provider of appliance deployment platforms, and support services for software technology developers and OEMs around the world, discusses five popular myths about cloud computing and why you shouldn't believe them.
One of the largest considerations for organizations considering a cloud computing solution or hosted appliance deployment is security and privacy. While cloud solutions certainly can have security and privacy issues, most providers address these problems directly. Service level agreements (SLAs) are key here, and customers are encouraged to pay close attention to these agreements and make sure they are tailored to their specific needs and concerns. According to NEI, the bottom line is that security and privacy risks will vary depending on the actual provider.
Another popular misconception is that cloud computing has reliability issues. Again, SLAs address different levels of availability, so it is extremely important to go over your agreement carefully with your provider before signing up for service. While cloud vendors and MSPs may not provide the five nines of uptime, most will guarantee 99.98 percent or better.
Many cloud service providers would have their customers believe that switching to a managed service is easy and that is also a myth. Moving large amounts of data from one platform to another requires preparation and planning, including training IT staff and end users throughout the organization on the new platform.
A good service provider will help customers through the transition, but this will take time and effort. Some service providers would also like prospects to think that switching cloud vendors or MSPs is quick and easy, which is also untrue. In fact, according to NEI, transitioning between cloud vendors is more difficult than transitioning to the cloud in the first place. The company again urges caution in choosing a service provider.
Finally, much of the information currently available suggests that the cloud is suited to small businesses only. And SMBs can certainly benefit from the shared resources and scalability of a cloud platform, but large enterprises have also realized major benefits from transitioning to the cloud. Even common applications like email and archiving can be cost effective and better managed on a cloud platform, particularly for large organizations.
As with any important business decision, the choice to move to a cloud computing environment should be made only after careful research, assessment of needs, scrutinizing of SLAs, the options for appliance deployment and extensive interviewing of potential service providers.
With the proper planning and care, organizations of all sizes can benefit from a cloud or hosted solution.