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Making Myth-stakes: The Cloud and What Isn't True

ROCKVILLE, MD (August 20, 2012) -

Making Myth-stakes: The Cloud and What Isn't True
By Doug Bonderud

Small and mid-sized businesses hear a great deal about the cloud. Providers sound off about it to IT pros; CEOs hear about it on television; managers run into discussions of its benefits at conferences and on courses. This hype is often enough to prompt a serious look into moving at least some non-critical applications into the cloud, but as soon as the first virtual word drops, myths often emerge and “facts” appear to warn off companies before they go so far skyward they can't get back.

The biggest cloud myth, by far, is that moving to a non-local server is less secure than something run in-house. On its face, this makes sense; if your data stored in the server room next door, if your IT pros aren't the ones overseeing the server and aren't the ones there to correct problems, a security breach feels inevitable. This myth is backed up by the idea that since cloud data from different companies is often stored on the same servers, a hacker looking to take down an enterprise-level business might accidentally grab your data instead, or law enforcement agencies could seize an entire server bank, including all of your company's files. Terrifying, right?

Absolutely - but not entirely true. Time and again, studies have found that employees at a company, not outside forces, are the greatest security threat. Whether this is due to poor password choice (Password123 remains incredibly popular, for example), file sharing or inconsistent protocols established by IT admins, the fact is that moving to a reputable cloud provider - especially if the movement is of non-critical services - can often yield a more secure operating environment, as it's easier to set permissions for access and companies get the chance to do some security housecleaning.

Another common myth in the world of the cloud is that it's all or nothing, that once a company moves away from a local solution there's no going back; they're locked in; and, of course, the cost savings promised by this technology won't materialize. Again, this seems entirely plausible - all of your data needs to be stored on the same local bank of servers, so why would the cloud be any different? This is, ultimately, where the cloud shines: agility. Companies can choose from a myriad of providers, all of which offer different solutions and different levels of cloud investment. Some will ask for a lock-in and should likely be avoided, and while it’s true the costs per month can be more for a cloud solution when compared to running a server stack, it can quickly pay for itself by not requiring any capital for upgrades or server refreshing.

All of this leads us to perhaps the most invasive, terrifying myth about the cloud: that it will steal jobs from IT administrators. After all, if someone else is managing all the data, why would a local IT guru even be necessary? This fear can, in turn, propagate the myths discussed above, since IT pros have a vested interest in trying to stave off what they perceive as inevitable termination. In truth, however, the likelihood of pink-slips coming for technology pros at small and mid-sized companies is slight, even when multiple cloud solutions are used. Not only are these admins responsible for overseeing the integration of multiple solutions but their roles often broaden as companies seek out customer relationship management (CRM) options, big-data analytics programming and attempt to educate employees on new use policies.

It is important to note that the cloud is a maturing technology, one best described as in adolescence; some growing pains are expected. Unfortunately, these pains have often been misinterpreted as out-and-out failings, which then spread with lightning speed through the business community. Make no mistake - the road to the cloud isn't always smooth, covered as it is with puddles of hype and potholes of myth, but the right deployment at the right time offers significant rewards.

CONTACT:
Kristina Mack (301) 998-3688, press (at) dataprise.com.

 

 

 

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