People think of a lot of different things when they think of “the cloud.” For some people, it’s a magical, ethereal substance hanging in the air. For others, it’s a data solution based on internet connectivity and redundant storage. For others, it’s a meaningless buzzword that people toss around when they want to sound like they’re up on the latest tech. In fact, there are shades of truth in all of these perceptions.
However, cloud computing is a major development in productivity, cost efficiency, and even security—but not all businesses have begun to embrace the power of the cloud. The cloud industry is growing at a rate of more than 26 percent per year, but only an estimated 50 percent of enterprises will adapt by next year.
Why is that?
The Misconception Barrier
These distorted views on what cloud computing really is, how it works, and what its main advantages are have led entrepreneurs to some pretty flawed notions about the cloud. This has prevented them from making meaningful steps forward in their IT solutions, setting them back years—if not decades—in technological advancement.
Common Cloud Misconceptions
So what exactly are the misconceptions that keep business owners from adapting? These are some of the biggest ones:
- It’s all or nothing. One of the biggest myths about the cloud is that a transition to include cloud solutions is all-or-nothing. That is to say, if a business is used to using physical systems, its owner may believe that the only way to “move to the cloud” is to completely abandon its older model and switch to a fully cloud-dependent system. This is patently untrue. In reality, it’s not only possible, but wise to transition your systems slowly, taking on new cloud software and other cloud solutions bit by bit as your organization sees fit. For example, you might upgrade your accounting software to a cloud-based platform, followed by your CRM platform of choice.
- Cloud-based data is more vulnerable. Most people have a mental image of information stored in the cloud as hanging in the air like fog. As a result, they think of this information as publicly accessible, and therefore more vulnerable to security threats. However, this isn’t the case. Cloud-based data can be vulnerable if the proper security measures aren’t taken—just like traditional forms of data storage. But if anything, cloud data is more secure thanks to redundant systems of backup that exist in most contexts. Following basic security best practices is all you need in most cases.
- Cloud computing is just a fad. This is a big misconception due to the explosive popularity of the term “the cloud.” Almost every new business hails itself as being “cloud-based,” and many people have begun using cloud terminology so frequently, they’ve forgotten what it actually means. Make no mistake; cloud computing is a buzzword, and has seen a massive rise in popularity, but that doesn’t mean it’s going away anytime soon. It may be replaced by something even bigger and more advanced—but it’s currently popular due to its practical advantages, not overblown hype.
- Cloud-based systems are more expensive. This is a major factor preventing business owners from considering cloud-based solutions. Cloud technology is advanced, and advanced technology must be more expensive, right? In some cases, that might be true, but many cloud-based systems actually allow for more efficient storage and more streamlined serving. If anything, cloud is generally cheaper than its traditional local-storage counterpart.
- The cloud is harder to manage and control. There’s also the misconception that cloud systems are harder to manage and control. However, due to the mutual accessibility of cloud-based apps and device-agnostic systems, it’s actually easier to manage most cloud-based software and data. There’s a perceived increase in technological difficulty here, mostly because the cloud is more advanced than older systems, but the learning curve isn’t that steep. In fact, most cloud solutions are designed to be intuitively accessible to new users.
These points aren’t meant to imply that every business owner needs to fully transition his or her business to the cloud immediately, but are rather intended to illustrate why so many business owners are having a hard time making a full adjustment. There’s no question that making the transition is somewhat difficult, but the advantages in price, security, and efficiency are well worth the short-term costs.