Why the cloud can be right for everyone
Despite growing demand for cloud-based services, the myths that often surround them in the IT departments still dissuade many companies from taking the leap. Last time we talked about the reservations businesses have regarding security, constraints, and costs (see link below). Now, we explore the reasons why some firms believe the cloud just isn’t right for them – and show you why there’s actually something in it for everyone.
Myth: “The IT in my company is so basic that I can live without the cloud, it’s only for big business!”
Actually, the opposite is true. It is particularly difficult and time-consuming for many companies to build, service, and maintain their own IT infrastructure. In addition to the servers, the operating systems, software applications, and security systems also have to be managed, while specialized staff has to be trained and retrained continuously. For these companies, cloud computing is an excellent alternative that will let them concentrate on their core business and stop worrying about IT operations. The potential for cost reductions and quality improvements is huge.
The services that a company purchases from the cloud provider can be adjusted according to current needs. When additional IT resources are necessary, they can be obtained rapidly without any further investments into hardware or software, and when fewer IT resources are required – due to seasonal business fluctuations, for instance – they can usually be discontinued from one month to the next, and thus reduced. As a result, the company only pays for the services it actually uses. Instead of making a large, lump-sum investment into hardware and software, regular and easily calculable fees are paid to the service provider which covers the infrastructure maintenance, updates, and repairs. The company data is available to access in the cloud, in any place, at any time, and on any device using a simple browser or app and a broadband Internet connection. This provides more flexibility in daily business, particularly for SMEs.
Myth: “We are an industrial company, so what good is the cloud going to do us?”
This is a rash judgement. Of course, an industrial company is not obligated to transfer its machine control or PPS system into the cloud, although there are some interesting concepts in this area, too. Most industrial businesses operate a host of applications in procurement, accounting, customer management, and human resources, which don’t always need to run on their own servers and could benefit from being transferred into the cloud. “Industry 4.0” is the new buzzword that is currently going around regarding industrial companies and cloud computing. It refers to the individualization of all processes using information technology, which is a further development of the “Internet of Things” and cloud computing. That’s why experts are talking about a fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 stands for a production process that is entirely steered by interconnected computers and in which autonomous products and decision-making processes are steered almost in real time through complex value-creation networks. Machines and products become intelligent thanks to sensors, programmability, and the ability to communicate. Using machine-to-machine communication, machines can trigger actions in other machines and enable intelligent production. Systems of this kind require vast IT infrastructures and resources, and only the cloud makes this feasible. If the complex processes can be individually adapted to the respective sectors, this would create huge potential for industrial cloud computing.
Myth: “The cloud is too slow for us!”
The prejudice that Web-based services are too slow to be used in business goes back to a time when the network expansion was still in its infancy, and the hardware wasn’t powerful enough to make high-performance virtual environments available. Both of these issues are no longer a problem in the overwhelming majority of cases. Cloud users only need an upload speed of 128 kilobits per second, which is the equivalent of the smallest DSL package. The virtualization of applications, namely the provision of an IT infrastructure that is independent of the actual underlying hardware, allows cloud providers to adjust their services on demand by simply redistributing them on new or additional servers.
Although speed is less a matter of the systems’ response times than of the implementation speed of an IT project, cloud services do have their advantages in this area. Experts even predict that the speed gained in the implementation of IT projects will persuade an increasing number of companies to adopt the cloud. For example, the creation of an e-mail service in the traditional way can take several weeks or even months from the project planning phase to the activation of the mailboxes. If you use cloud-based services instead, users can have access to functioning e-mail accounts within two hours.
Myth: “What if there’s an outage – everything would go to pots!”
Depending on how important the availability of an IT infrastructure is to a company, productivity can be significantly affected when access to company data is lost. However, this is true of any type of IT infrastructure – including the computers you operate yourself in your office’s server room. The only safeguards here are measures to reduce the probability of outages occurring, backups on other servers, and storage media. That being said, it is much more difficult for those managing their own IT infrastructure to achieve the same level of protection against outages as high-quality, professional cloud offers. The latter include measures ranging from sophisticated backup plans, through failsafe power supplies guaranteed by emergency generators, redundant data lines, and all the way to complete disaster recovery strategies (see first myth of part one) with replacement data centers. Through so-called service-level agreements (SLAs), the user and cloud service provider can even agree on exactly what should happen when outages or errors occur, and how fast.
As the business of cloud-based services expands and providers develop an ever greater diversity of offers, companies of all sizes and from every sector can find solutions that will meet their specific needs and requirements perfectly. When it comes to IT infrastructure, there is nothing safer or more cost-effective than leaving it to the pros – and the pros are making it increasingly easy for you to get exactly what you want, when you want it. So forget about these antiquated myths, and start looking for the offer that will work for you in the future.
Read part 1 here: /2016/09/27/the-biggest-myths-surrounding-cloud-infrastructures/
Source: https://cloud.telekom.de/blog/top-10-mythen-der-cloud (in German)
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