Cloud computing, naturally, due to its popularity, is something that is plagued with tons of myths. Naturally, these myths or misconceptions do have consequences, as they can delay innovations, slow the progress of an enterprise, and create fear where it’s not warranted. While cloud computing is virtually mainstream now, the vast majority of that growth occurring in the past five years, there are still many myths surrounding it. Cloud computing is essentially capabilities that are delivered as a service, with a boundary created between the consumer and the cloud service provider. For a lot of people, this becomes the source of all the misconceptions, as cloud computing becomes something more abstract. So it’s understandable that with all its success it has engendered a lot of misunderstandings and myths.
Amongst all the hype and confusion that continues to surround cloud computing, it’s in the best interest for CIOs to separate both fiction from fact, this can be done by learning about the various myths that surround the cloud, as of today.
1. Cloud Computing is Solely about Money
One myth, and probably the biggest one surrounding cloud computing is that migration to this service guarantees financial savings. While, in many situations, this is actually true, there are many different reasons why you may want to move to the cloud, with the most common reason being agility.
When it comes to business, any and all decisions, whether it’s the cloud or anything else, must be made, after considering the numbers. Even if agility is the primary reason, one must also consider the costs. CIOs shouldn’t assume anything, meaning, they shouldn’t assume that moving to the cloud will cut their costs, not without doing their own analysis study, first.
Experts have advised that specific models, including total cost of ownership, be used, on a case by case basis. So you’ll want to split the cloud into its use case, while looking beyond simple cost concerns. It’s very important that the projected cost savings are realistic, that the company doesn’t assume they’ll make significant savings simply because they’re on the cloud.
2. Just One Cloud Strategy Is Required
Multi-cloud is becoming increasingly more popular, as the days pass by, but despite that, you find that most businesses are still drawn towards simplicity. However, cloud computing is very broad, encompassing, many different services and infrastructure, which is why any devised cloud strategy must reflect this. Cloud services typically include many different models, levels, applications and scope.
For this reason, any cloud strategy must be able to accommodate, the various functions and uses of a cloud service. Any organisation must also realise that they won’t be able to get everything they require or desire from the one vendor. A cloud strategy that is based around one service, only works, if expectations are within its framework.
3. Use Cloud for Everything
Unless there is money to be saved, moving your old legacy application over to the cloud, may not necessarily be the best decision. The cloud tends to come into its own, when value is based on flexibility, when the company is structured around consuming and paying for solely what it needs, when it needs it.
For this reason one shouldn’t be afraid to accept the truth. That the cloud may not be beneficial for all workloads. As a result, non-cloud solutions should be considered as more preferable.
4. Cloud Is Not As Secure As On-Premises
Many people perceive cloud computing as not as secure. However, when we look at the number of security breaches suffered in the public cloud, we find that there have been very few. The vast majority of breaches are still experienced by on premise data centres.
This is why you shouldn’t assume that cloud service providers are unable to provide you with the level of security that you require. Of course, you should expect the cloud provider to be able to demonstrate its capabilities, but once they are able to do that, there is no reason for you to sway from what you know.
5: Enterprises Are Leaving the Public Cloud
The thought that workloads are now being shifted away from the cloud, is wishful thinking at best. When we look at legacy vendors, we must ask, who would stand to benefit from such a myth. The truth is, most enterprises that have moved to the cloud, are still with the cloud. That said, for those that have decided to move back, the vast majority of them have moved from cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), rather than SaaS.
One thing to bear in mind, is that some cloud migrations are unsuccessful. However, most organisations when face with cloud problems, are more likely to address them, wherever they arise, rather than take the more drastic measuring of moving everything back to their previous location.
6: Multi-Cloud will prevent lock-in
The vast majority of organisations will start off by using one cloud service provider, but may develop concerns about developing on the single vendor, which leads to them entertaining other vendors. When a company does this, it is known as multi-cloud. Multi-cloud has many different approaches, including a more functionality-based one. For example, an organisation may opt to use the Amazon Web Services, as their main cloud service provider, while using Google Analytics and Big Data in conjunction with it.
IT leaders need to understand that having multi-cloud as their cloud strategy, is not always sufficient in addressing the issue of lock-in. If lock-in has been identified as an issue, then a more streamlined approach should be adopted, one that focusses on tackling real solutions.
7. The Cloud Is a Must
Cloud-washing is basically the tendency of others to call everything the cloud, even it’s not. In many cases this is purely accidental, the result of confusion about the technology. However, there are many vendors and IT organisations that will refer to things as being the cloud in order to make sales, gain funding, and meet certain strategies and cloud demands. This all helps to feed the myth, that in order for an IT company to be worth its salt, it must be on the cloud.
The best thing you can do is be honest, which means, not referring to everything as the cloud. There are many other capabilities, such as virtualisation and automation that do not require cloud-washing in order for people to patronise it.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk