4 Myths About Moving to the Cloud

“Moving to the cloud” means changing to a type of computing that’s based on sharing computing resources rather than having local servers, local storage devices, and local applications. “Local” means on the premises of your organization (inside your office/s!). “The cloud” is a shorthand word picture for the Internet. (And, for most of us, the Internet is just as opaque as a cloud.)

“Moving to the cloud” means instead of buying and managing the server hardware and software for email, storage, and even applications, you pay a monthly fee for other people to buy and manage that hardware and software and they give you access to what you need.

Decision-makers in small- and medium-size organizations need the facts if they’re considering moving to the cloud. Here are 4 myths that are often presented as facts—but really aren’t true.

#1 Moving Our Data to the Cloud Means We No Longer Control Our IT Technology.

When you move to the cloud, you’ll greatly reduce the headaches, time, and money your organization spends maintaining your local hardware and software. Unless you’re an IT company, your business focus and expertise don’t have much to do with that gear that’s sitting in the computer room.

Transfer that responsibility to experts in the cloud and you and your team can focus on the reason your organization exists rather than being a troubleshooting and repair service. With flexible cloud-based storage, you’ll also reduce your capital budget as you reduce your need for server hardware and software.

#2 Keeping Data On-Premises Is Safer Than in the Cloud.

Your physical IT infrastructure may be safer when you lock the doors to your office and install video surveillance, but your data won’t necessarily be more secure. Many organizations are routinely hacked and don’t even know it.

These days, security requires experts. Behind the scenes, providers of cloud services are staffed with teams of security professionals whose full-time job is to thwart security breaches. Their mission is to prevent, detect, and mitigate breaches that most organizations don’t have the resources to cover.

In addition, most cloud services companies provide service level agreements of high percentage uptime (such as 99.5% or 99.9%), with a financial reimbursement to your organization if that uptime isn’t met.

#3 Everything Has to Be Moved to the Cloud—It’s All or Nothing!

Not true! Most organizations start with a hybrid approach, keeping some functions on-premises and moving some functions to the cloud. They’ll eliminate their local email server by shifting to cloud email, for example, and keep their storage servers and devices in-house. Other organizations want to reduce software investment and move to cloud-based productivity software, such as Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions that include the downloadable bits for Microsoft Office.

A big advantage of moving to cloud-based email or cloud-based applications is the ability of your employees to use these functions anywhere, anytime, and on any device. Remember that “Cloud” means “Internet.” With an Internet connection and valid user name and password, you and your employees have the flexibility of getting work done wherever they may be.

#4 Corporate Spies, Cyber Thieves, Hackers, and Governments Will Have Access to Our Data.

This is one of the main fears for many organizations—but it’s a myth! Your organization’s IT team sets up who has access to data and who doesn’t, configures your employees’ smartphones and other devices, and set appropriate privacy options. You control your data and you own your data. When you leave a cloud service, you take your data with you.

Reputable cloud services providers do not mine your data for advertising or other purposes. Staff at these companies do not have access to your data. Their systems include strict controls and design features that prevent your data from mingling with the data from other organizations. And, as described above, reputable cloud services companies provide strong security protection for your data behind the scenes.

If your organization is considering moving to the cloud, don’t be held back by myths and misconceptions. Base your decision on the facts.