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15 myths & misconceptions about cloud technology

Cloud technology has seen tremendous growth over the last few years. Most UK companies now use it in some form or other, especially to handle and store vital data. But many are still unclear about what cloud technology actually is, what it has to offer and how secure it is. And they’re not helped by a few stubborn myths and misconceptions that refuse to go away!

So here are 15 of the best (or worst) myths round the cloud explained and debunked. Hopefully, this will give you a better view of the cloud and help you decide whether it’s time for your business to get aboard…

Myth 1: I don’t know what the cloud is!

Truth: You probably use it already.

Cloud technology is simply remote access computing with all the required hardware and software stored in a remote location. That’s internet-based software applications to you & me.  So if you use email, online banking or social media, you’re already using the cloud.

Myth 2: The cloud isn’t secure.

Truth: Security in the cloud is likely to be tighter than your existing system.

Cloud security is improving all the time. In most cases, cloud vendors will have data encryption, functionality and security procedures that are more stringent and more advanced than those of their clients.

A good cloud vendor will also employ experts in security and software to protect their greatest assets – their data.  Plus, data is much safer when encrypted & in the hands of professionals rather than in-house administrators with no real I.T. expertise.

Myth 3: Building a cloud can take months.

Truth: A few days is more likely…

Good cloud providers take care of all aspects of migration, and they will give you all the relevant information and tools to make the process quick and painless – usually, this takes no more than a few days.

Myth 4: The cloud is expensive.

Truth: Cloud Technology Services can actually save you money.

With the cloud, you don’t have to buy or install anything, which removes the need for up-front capital expenditure. Security, power, cooling, maintenance and hardware refresh costs are also taken care of. According to the International Data Corporation, almost every SME that uses cloud services saves money.

Myth 5: The cloud comes in one size only.

Truth: It’s flexible, modular and can grow with your business.

The cloud is a flexible solution, and all good providers have a wide range of cloud-computing choices to meet any needs.  Cloud technology can be used on a modular basis, so you only pay for what you use. It also gives you more control your of resources, offering the ability to scale up or down on demand, depending on your needs. All of this is also achievable without investing in new hardware.

Myth 6: You can get stuck in the cloud.

Truth: You can move in and out of the cloud with ease.

Being ‘locked in’ to a cloud provider is a genuine concern for many businesses. There’s a belief that once their data is deployed to the cloud environment, they will never be able to get it back (or at least, not in the same format).

The truth is that businesses have a lot of options available to avoid being locked in. All good cloud providers offer seamless integration to move data in and out of the cloud easily.

Myth 7: Cloud Technology is unreliable… I could lose data!

Truth: The cloud will do a better job of backing up your data than your current system.

If you have ever struggled to maintain consistent backups, then you’ll love the cloud – good providers have regular automated backups to ensure that a copy of all your data will be recoverable in the event of a disaster.

Myth 8: The cloud will give me less control.

Truth: You’ll get more control as it’s available any time, from anywhere in the world.

A lot of people worry that because they can’t see where their data is being stored, they may not be able to access it. Not true. In fact, most cloud providers give you admin access to view and control your data from anywhere in the world (providing you have a solid internet connection) while being spared the hassle of maintaining it.

Myth 9: The cloud will affect my compliance.

Truth: Any good cloud provider will ensure you’re compliant.

Companies have a right to be worried about whether they’re compliant with the latest security standards. But you can successfully meet these standards in the cloud, where compliance is as important as in any other industry – a good cloud provider will be proactive in ensuring the latest security compliance requirements are adhered to.

Myth 10: I won’t have time to maintain the cloud.

Truth: Relax! You don’t actually need to do anything…

There’s no need to worry – the cloud takes care of itself, automating tasks like managing software upgrades and maintaining server equipment for you. Because your service is outsourced, software upgrades happen automatically in the background. Plus, you will have access to new features to support your employees and free up their valuable time.

Myth 11: The Cloud is too complex

Truth: It’s packed with user-friendly features that make things simple…

IT managers are most likely to offer the opinion that the cloud increases complexity regarding data storage, user access and other applications. Perhaps the reason behind this could be a misplaced attachment to their existing in-house processes…
The truth? User-friendly dashboards and informative, graphic-rich reporting are a couple of typical cloud features that offer even the most technically challenged user opportunities to simplify complex information and processes.

Myth 12: Saving money is the only cloud benefit.

Truth: These days, the cloud offers so much more than financial savings.

Cloud technology gives managers the freedom to focus on future opportunities for their business, rather than having to ‘make-do’ with existing, outdated processes. Many businesses find that the agility the cloud provides results in benefits that are far more significant than cost savings.

Myth 13: The cloud won’t last.

Truth: It will outlast your personal computer.

We rely on the cloud so much already that we can be sure it isn’t just a passing fad. Cloud computing has been around for a while already, so it’s already shown to have staying power. Gartner research has forecasted that more than 50% of businesses will adopt and implement some kind of cloud-based application by the end of 2015. And the cloud isn’t just for businesses – Gartner has also forecasted that the cloud will dominate the digital lives of consumers by 2014.

Myth 14: Stormy weather affects the cloud.

False: Although there are people out there who believe stormy weather interferes with cloud computing
Myth 15: The cloud is an actual cloud.

Truth: There are definitely no plans to move the cloud into the sky.

Believe it or not, these last two myths are based on a genuine survey conducted by Wakefield Research, for Citrix in the United States. The survey found that 51% of those surveyed thought that stormy weather could affect cloud computing. And no less than 29% though that the cloud was… well, an actual cloud. All I can say is……Doh!

Final thoughts from AccessPay…

For many businesses, the idea of cloud computing might still seem daunting.

But as a company that uses 100% cloud technology, we can tell you (with some confidence) that the opposite is true. The time, money and energy that you will save using cloud technology is something that any forward-thinking business can use to their advantage. The cloud is going to be a part of life in from now on. There’s no escaping it, but no reason to fear it!

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