As with any new technology, Cloud computing can be regarded with some suspicion, fuelled in part by some serious misconceptions. Unfortunately these rumours and half-truths are depriving non-adopters of some significant benefits. So what are these Cloud misconceptions, and what is the truth?
1. My data will be insecure
High profile cases of web outages and hacking have created acres of negative press coverage, leading many to assume that the Cloud-based systems are inherently insecure. Although web security is compromised occasionally, hackers tend to target specific systems, like those belonging to large businesses or banks. And statistically, successful hacking attempts against Cloud service providers are relatively rare.
In most cases, the security measures used by Cloud service providers will be far more stringent and secure than those used by SMEs to protect their own networks. Cloud users will find that their data and intellectual property is probably more secure when stored in the Cloud.
2. Cloud providers are spying on my data
With your data stored on another company’s hardware, it’s easy to think that the provider could also be spying on you too. Is your sensitive information being sold to competitors? Or used to develop new products?
All of the major Cloud providers (with the exception of Google, who have a complex Terms of Service agreement) categorically state that your data remains yours at all times, and that they will not access the contents under any circumstances. Many providers even encrypt the files so that they could not read the contents even if they wanted to.
And it’s important to consider the impact spying on customers would have on the provider’s reputation. A single major provider found to be spying on their customers, or helping third parties to do so, could cause the whole multi-billion-dollar cloud computing industry to collapse. Security measures are in place to maintain the trust between provider and client.
3. Cloud systems might be unreliable
Because the Cloud uses infrastructure that cannot be “seen” or managed, some users worry that they cannot trust the reliability of the underlying platform. This lack of direct control equates to unreliability.
However a recent academic study found that the average Cloud service was affected by just 7.7 hours downtime. This may sound like a lot initially, but running 24x7x365, Cloud systems were able to deliver 99.91% availability – less than one working day per year, and generally for less than a few minutes at a time.
Few SMEs have the resources or skills required to deliver these levels of uptime themselves; so the Cloud could actually improve reliability and availability.
The current focus by many IT service providers on potential cost savings means that Cloud misconceptions and rumours continue to flourish. Sometimes this reporting misses out the other benefits, like increased operational flexibility, and can fail to rebut damaging mistaken ideas such as the above.
So don’t let misplaced fears stop your business getting the benefits of the Cloud: if you want advice on Cloud options and details of how different computing solutions can work for your business, contact our expert team at Broadband Cloud Solutions today, and get more of the real facts.
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