If you were to ask someone to explain the concept of cloud computing, it’s likely you’ll get a long explanation riddled with hand gestures, the word “Internet,” and more often than not, plenty of inaccuracies. For the most part, the general population understands that “cloud” refers to the Internet (in some way) but when the word “computing” gets thrown into the mix, confusion sets in, assumptions are made, and myths are born.
We here at Vault Networks are big fans of all things cloud, and as such, constantly hearing so much false information floating around about it has become quite the pet peeve for us. So let’s bust some of these persistent myths, shall we?
There are folks out there who think cloud computing happens on the nimbus and cirrus formations we see in the sky. Yes, really. There are people who believe this. In fact, according to a recent survey from Citrix, 51 percent of respondents believe stormy weather affects cloud computing. This should go without saying, but to be clear, cloud computing refers to a computer network used to store, share, and access data on Internet-connected devices. This network is built on physical servers, located somewhere end users will likely never see. It has nothing to do with the weather or the fluffy white things above us.
Myth 2: The Cloud Isn’t Secure
This is false for two reasons. First, cloud providers make every effort to ensure that their servers and networks are secure, precisely because of this prevalence of this myth. If unsure about your provider’s security measures, it never hurts to ask for details. Providers actually care so much about security that if a customer puts the security of others at risk in any way, most will immediately terminate service. Second, security is as much a responsibility of the user as it is the provider. Cloud computing is by nature a self-service product, meaning that providers are limited on how much they can protect you and your data. If users don’t take the time to secure their own access points and Internet connections, they only have themselves to blame in the event of hacks or breaches.
Myth 3: Moving to the Cloud will Take Away Jobs
We’ll give a little slack on this one. While it’s unfounded, this is a legitimate fear business owners and CIO’s struggle with when any new technology is introduced. It’s not crazy to think that moving to the cloud would eliminate the need for IT positions within companies and lead to major downsizing, but the truth is that this hasn’t been the case. In fact, the CSC Cloud Usage Index from December 2011 revealed that 20% of companies surveyed actually hired more people after their organization moved to the cloud, while only 14% downsized their IT departments. A change in staff structuring can be expected, yes, but definitely not the drastic job loss people are generally imagining.
Myth 4: Cloud Computing is a Silver Bullet
Despite the hype, cloud computing unfortunately isn’t the end-all, be-all solution for all IT needs. It’s undoubtedly a technology that is here to stay, but it will never be the best fit for every single function. There will always be situations where performance, security requirements and control will exclude the cloud from being an option for deployment. At the end of the day, however, while the cloud may not always work as a replacement for certain business functions, there is definitely no limit to the creative ways in which cloud computing can complement any process.
Myths are a natural part of any hype cycle, and cloud computing clearly isn’t an exception. Cloud technology is a powerful tool with a lot of potential to improve a business’ capabilities and service offerings while reducing operational costs, but it’s important to be realistic. By diving in and adopting early, having done the research to see where it makes the most sense, you can start building the expertise required to take full advantage of cloud computing as it matures.