Don’t let myths overwhelm true cloud benefits

Unravelling the fiction surrounding the benefits of cloud-based applications and establishing the truth behind cost, security, performance, flexibility and compliance.

Despite the compelling reasons to look to the cloud versus on-premises deployment options, some businesses are still hesitant due to the common myths that surround cloud-based deployments.

So, let’s unravel the fiction to reveal the true benefits of cloud-based applications.

Cost

Many organisations still hold onto the belief that the cost of running applications in the cloud is too high.

Cost is just one of the issues to consider when thinking about migrating to the cloud, but you may take comfort from survey results from the experts that show 68% of business and IT leaders cite cost benefits as a primary advantage of the cloud. That’s because, while initial costs may appear higher, there are several factors to consider with on-premises software platforms which over time can drive the price up.

These include:

  • Server hardware and maintenance
  • Support staff
  • Training
  • Disaster recovery challenges
  • Extended deployment times

The issue of cost depends on the business perspective and it is myopic to look at a move to the cloud solely based on rands and cents – the holistic picture must include the business objectives and will the migration enable them.

In a situation where migration to the cloud brings additional initial costs but helps the business to support strategic objectives that result in the growth of the business, then this can be justified as an investment.

Security

The security elephant is always in the room – so many executives persist in hanging onto the myth that the risk attached to leaving their data in somebody else’s hands is too high.

Survey results debunk this myth, with 52% of business and IT leaders listing security as an operational advantage of the cloud. Moreover, only 22% said security was an advantage for an on-premises deployment. This incorrect notion has been well nailed on the head.

Working with a hosted solution means working with the people who built it – the experts.

The right cloud provider will not only constantly evaluate and evolve its practices to protect customer data but will do so based on a set of security standards that include the full range of controls necessary and encompassing identity, access management, authentication, web application firewalls, security configuration monitoring and threat and vulnerability management. With experts taking care of security, you remove the strain and cost of internal teams trying to keep up with, and prepare for, the constantly-evolving cyber security landscape.

Performance

The next question that constantly comes up pertains to performance and the possibility that access will drop when relying on a SaaS software platform. However, 78% of business and IT leaders cited availability as an advantage of cloud-based applications.

In fact, moving to a hosted application, such as a content services solution, can reduce applications downtime and offer an impressive 99.99% availability.

Flexibility

The next myth revolves around the perception that choosing cloud-based applications translates into less flexibility. According to the research, 70% of business and IT leaders confirmed that choosing the cloud provided them with greater flexibility versus that of an on-premises deployment.

Working with a hosted solution means working with the people who built it – the experts. This makes your deployment faster and can provide valuable insight into the options you have when evolving solutions to support changing business demands.

Compliance

Finally, there is the inherent mistrust that cloud platforms cannot keep up with compliance/industry or government-specific regulations. This is also not true, with 44% of business and IT leaders listing compliance as a cloud advantage.

Researching and implementing the right processes and reporting requirements are colossal tasks. By partnering with a cloud-based solution provider that has experience in your industry and region, businesses remove the burden of keeping up with the ever-changing world of regulatory compliance.

In our increasingly digital world, we hear about privacy concerns and high-profile data breaches almost every day. In 2018, the European Union (EU) introduced its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

At the time, this was the most stringent data protection law addressing growing concerns over how personal data is used. This regulation is extremely important, as it applies not only to companies physically based in the EU, but also to those outside of the EU that conduct business with EU data subjects.

Most discussions regarding GDPR focus squarely on consent management; ie, making sure organisations have permission to use the data they are collecting and processing. Consent management is critical to organisations' abilities to continue doing business as usual in the face of these regulations.

POPIA, South Africa’s version of GDPR, is coming into force on 1 July this year, and while in many ways it is a wave that all businesses in the country will surf initially as a learning curve, it also focuses on consent management.

It appears quite clear that responsibility for data rests with the company collecting the data – in other words, while the company may outsource its data to the cloud, it remains responsible for it as it’s not possible to outsource regulatory obligations and liability to protect it.

There only remains one last question in this debate around the benefits of migrating to cloud-based applications and that is: what is holding you back from this business-enabling platform?

Today, more staff are working off-site than ever before, and this shift is not likely to be temporary. You need to provide employees with secure, scalable access to the critical information they need, where and when they need it. Cloud applications support workforces in the office or wherever they are located.

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