What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of compute power, database storage, applications and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. The need of Cloud computing started growing because of high pricing and maintenance of servers. Earlier, companies used to have private servers dedicated to store their organization’s data at a single place. Products and services can directly or indirectly make connections to this single server for various needs. But slowly this has been taken over by cloud computing. Now instead of having an actual server installed at their place, companies have the space at a cloud server dedicated to itself for a certain period. Also, this space is flexible i.e. it can be increased or reduced based on its usage. Cloud computing provides a simple way to access servers, storage, databases and a broad set of application services over the Internet. The main advantage comes up because of the fact that anything can be made accessible over the internet when your organization move to cloud.
- Cloud computing always reduces costs: This is the general mindset of any one new to this technology. Though cost can be save in some ways when your business transforms from a private server to cloud server, but it completely depends on what business model you have and what benefits you see of going to cloud. Cloud computing may provide efficiency and easy access but not necessarily cost reduction. In fact, transforming into cloud is most of the times based on improving the efficiency of product instead of reducing the overall cost. Of course, it opens new ways for innovation to increase productivity and reduce cost but that should never be the ultimate line of truth.
- Cloud computing enhances productivity: Having a cloud based solution can increase the productivity of some apps but this is not always true. Cloud provides enormous computing capabilities but the success of any app depends on various other factors. Let us assume that your app is performing way too better on cloud but whenever network connection is low or down, then your app may get crashed because you relied too much on cloud for computing. Now the real success for this kind of app lies in the implementation of some offline solutions for itself where come computing can be done by the device itself instead of relying upon cloud to do everything.
- Switching from one cloud to another is easy: You can lend yourself into trouble if right cloud provider is not chosen at earlier stage. This is a very common problem faced by various small and medium industries who have preferred low cost cloud based services over reliable players. People seem to be bound in contracts which ask for heavy charges to be paid if contract is terminated in advance. Therefore, not all cloud providers are reliable. So, a correct step will be to do proper market research and then choose your cloud service provider.
- Security is compromised when things move to cloud: This is mindset of even various professionals working in the same field. But to me, it seems a next to impossible thing. This will be like putting a hammer on your own foot. There are various companies like Amazon, Google, etc. who are ensuring even they cannot access your data on their cloud server. Latest encryption and authentication mechanisms are deployed at cloud server so that no breach of data ever happens. The utmost priority of any cloud provider is security because this is what which will protect its future business from falling apart.
- Virtualization of servers is all what one needs: This misconception breeds because of people’s tendency to let other do work for you. It should be made clear to all business transforming into cloud that virtualization is nothing but taking any given task to cloud so that server can create a virtual machine which will in turn complete your work quicker than any human. The key here is having a proper infrastructure which is automated to the extent that can make life of end user simple and comfortable. Without correct infrastructure, virtualization will remain just another process of computing.
- Data transfer rate will increase on a cloud server: This is in fact a rare case where an on-site server is outperformed by a cloud server. Many a times, speed is compromised when you move from an on-site server to a cloud based server which can slow down your apps and may degrade overall performance. Though you get the capability to access it from internet directly but as number of steps have increased between stored data and end user, speed can be compromised in some cases depending upon your implementation.
- Cloud technologies can limit your access: This is again completely opposite. Cloud computing, in fact, provides solutions to you from anywhere in the world. That is the real strength of cloud technology that you can access your resources from any corner of the world which were earlier not possible when an on-site server caused limitations because of lack of infrastructure. Now you can be in the comfort of your bedroom or travelling to any city in the world, cloud will give you unlimited access. All you need is internet connection and you are ready to go.
- The cloud solutions are too complex to implement: This is a general excuse of people who are lazy to move their solution to cloud. IT managers are most likely to offer the opinion that the cloud increases complexity regarding data storage, user access and other applications. Perhaps the reason behind this could be a misplaced attachment to their existing in-house processes. Cloud solution generally comes up with user-friendly dashboards and informative, graphic-rich reporting that offer even the most technically challenged user opportunities to simplify complex information and processes.
Since its invention, a lot of misconceptions have been associated with this technology. But so is true for any technology that has taken over the world with such a huge implementation. In my opinion, there is nothing to be afraid of cloud technologies but one should be very careful and cautious while transforming into a cloud based solution. The objectives of going to cloud computation should be very clear and similar infrastructure should be developed to truly leverage the potential of cloud computing. If you go blindly into a cloud without properly assessing your needs and what a cloud can offer you, then you may end up wasting your time and money. Thus, it is better to be clear of these misconceptions and move to cloud only when you think your organization can truly leverage from the benefits of cloud computing.