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Three misconceptions that keep businesses out of the cloud

Cloud computing offers numerous benefits to enterprises. But some common (and unfounded) fears are holding many businesses back.

Using cloud-based software and IT infrastructure offers tremendous benefits to enterprises. According to one large survey of CIOs, agility and responsiveness, system availability and innovation are the chief factors driving cloud adoption; but additional factors such as cost savings and shifting from CapEx to OpEx aren’t far behind.

These benefits are likely why global spending on IT infrastructure products for deployment in cloud environments is expected to surge this year, reaching $52.3 billion worldwide, according to IDC predictions. But while investments in traditional, non-cloud infrastructure is expected to decline by two per cent in 2018, it still accounts for the majority of IT investment, meaning many businesses still don’t realize the benefits of the cloud.

"Spending on traditional, non-cloud infrastructure still accounts for 54.7% of total IT infrastructure spending."

IDC Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker

There are some common concerns holding businesses back. According to one poll, half of the businesses had security or compliance concerns that made them rethink their cloud strategies[1] while other research found that 65%of IT leaders believe that skills gaps within their workforces hamper innovation.

If your business has yet to realize the benefits of the cloud, it’s possible that one of these misconceptions is standing in your way:

Misconception #1: The cloud increases the risk of cybercrime

According to one survey, more than half of IT leaders believe their on-premises servers are more secure than the cloud. But this is one of IT’s greatest fallacies, many cloud experts say. In one comparison, researchers found that on-premises IT infrastructure sees more than double the number of attacks than cloud infrastructure.

There are some key reasons cloud IT may be better protected. For starters, cloud providers can provide state-of-art security, such as round-the-clock monitoring and biometric scanning, which would be costly for businesses to maintain for their physical equipment. Additionally, with dedicated security experts, it’s your cloud provider’s job to proactively stay on top of and address new and emerging threats.

Misconception #2: The cloud compromises compliance

Regulatory requirements can dictate everything from where your data is physically stored to whether you’re using shared servers and so much more. So it’s no wonder businesses are apprehensive about moving to the cloud. However, with the variety of cloud solutions out there, and providers in the market with a range of offerings, there are ways to realize the benefits of the cloud without risking compliance violations. For example, some providers can resolve data sovereignty fears by guaranteeing that all data centres are located within Canada. And if shared tenancy environments are a concern, a dedicated private cloud or virtual private cloud solution may better meet your needs.

Misconception #3: My team lacks the skillset for cloud migration

A lack of cloud-specific skills and experience in-house can be a legitimate concern – after all, moving infrastructure off premises requires both a strategy for migration and new approaches to maintaining and supporting your company’s IT. But overcoming these challenges need not require new hires. Instead, enterprises can benefit from the expertise of their cloud provider’s managed services team, who can assist in both the development of a roadmap for cloud transformation and in its implementation. From advising which IT workloads and applications make the most sense in the cloud to a migration plan that minimizes downtime, leveraging the skills and experience of a managed services team can help pave your way to the cloud.

Innovations, like the cloud, bring new challenges and risks for every business. But instead of letting these hold you back, it’s important to understand how to find a solution that will address your fears and start reaping the many benefits those innovations were created for in the first place.

[1] IDC. AWS IaaS Compute Usage Trends. #US4577816 April 2016