In the few short years since it exploded onto the tech scene, it’s become an integral part of lives and businesses around the globe. But despite its ubiquity, myths persist about cloud computing, leading many to take a cautious stance toward its use. Some even avoid it altogether. These misconceptions can hamstring a business and keep personal data management locked into the digital Stone Age.
While it’s difficult to pinpoint just how many cloud computing myths exist, the three most common misconceptions seem almost inescapable.
Myth: The Cloud Isn’t Secure
Perhaps the most pervasive misconception about the cloud is that it’s not a secure way to store or transfer sensitive information. Many people – consumers and business leaders alike – seem to regard the cloud as a kind of communal suitcase where anyone can store data, preferring instead to store their data on physical storage devices like portable USB drives, CDs, and hard drives. Likewise, some business leaders are reluctant to take advantage of the cloud because they believe it to be less secure than the data centers with which they’re already familiar.
For consumers, the cloud is infinitely more secure than storing data on a physical device. For businesses, the cloud is just as secure – and often substantially more so – than sprawling data centers. While the cloud is not without security issues, the level of security maintained by cloud providers meets exceedingly strict standards. This is due in no small part to the fact that cloud vendors must comply with a raft of regulatory standards like the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, just to name a few.
Myth: There’s Only One Cloud
Another pervasive myth is that there’s only one cloud. Perhaps it’s simply because “the cloud” is singular. Whatever the reason, the idea that the cloud is a single massive jumble of data is more common than you might think. Even key decision makers in the business world are guilty of this one.
There are an innumerable number of clouds, both public and private — even hybrid. Consumer cloud hosting services aren’t all dumping their data into the same box. Likewise, private clouds are becoming increasingly common in business. These private cloud options can be a big boon to a business’ bottom line.
Myth: The Cloud is Expensive. Or Cheap.
This misconception cuts both ways, at least in the business world. Some decision makers see the up-front costs of migrating to the cloud as prohibitive. Others look ahead to the savings that will emerge once the migration is complete.
It’s both and neither, all at once. The up-front costs of a cloud migration are often sizable, but the savings over time typically offset the initial expenditure. But even if you’re overestimating both the costs and savings you may see through the cloud, cloud is typically a net positive for businesses. While the costs incurred by a migration to the cloud vary according to the needs of each business, most business will recoup the original outlay through operational savings as time goes on.
Though the cloud impacts the daily lives of millions around the world, it’s still very much of a source of myth, misconception, and misunderstanding. But understanding the cloud only requires a little research and investigation. After all, the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask.