A few years ago, the only thing you could store in a cloud was rain and the admin would need “Mother Nature” level privileges. Today, things are different. We all work with online storage clouds in some manner, whether it be in our personal lives, professional lives or both.
Thus it’s hard to believe that cloud storage options were available for consumers as early as 1983, and have been promoted for businesses since 1994, with the term being coined by an AT&T commercial. So why did it take so long for businesses to catch on to the idea of cloud storage, and what exactly changed in the past few years?
Read on to find out.
The Concerns of Yesteryear
Cloud management and storage solutions allow companies to become more connected and thus, more productive than ever before. So why haven’t companies adopted cloud storage solutions sooner?
Many business had concerns that are now cloud myths.
Myth #1 - Cloud storage is just not as secure as on-premise storage solutions
Much like your grandparents’ concerns with online banking, many business simply did not trust cloud storage solutions to be secure enough when compared to old fashioned lock-and-key tactics to prevent data loss or theft. “Cloud data,” they argued, “could easily be accessed, deleted or hacked as fast as it takes for my 56k modem to login to AOL.”
Why it’s a myth
The truth is managed clouds are actually more secure than any on-premise solution. This is because cloud providers such as Azure or Google have thousands of highly trained staff that specialize in cyber forensics and information security. They each have access to hundreds of technological tools, applications, agents, monitors and more to protect the data stored on their cloud, and to replicate this kind of security and reliability costs more than a couple of servers locked in room.
In addition to this, services such as Azure Active Directory provides an identity management service which allows IT admins the ability to grant employees single sign-on access to whatever they wish, and revoke those access rights instantly.
These services, combined with native OpenText security and role-based provisioning ensures that your applications and content are only accessed by those users who need to have access. When compared to the physical security measures of an on-premise solution with very real problems like access, damage, wear-and-tear, coercion and theft, cloud solutions win in convenience, efficiency and security.
Myth #2 - Cloud storage is more expensive than simply storing your data yourself
At the end of every month, everyone gets the same unwanted text from your bank account informing you that money has been taken out to satisfy your household expenses. Why would anyone want to add to operating expense unnecessarily? A common management complaint was “What is this ‘per month payment’? I can just pay once for a secure room with servers and be done with it.”
Why it’s a myth
It is true that cloud storage solutions usually add to your monthly costs, but these costs have been decreasing. However, it is not true that on-premise solutions are just a once-off payment.
An on-premise storage set-up requires IT administrators or support teams to manage their local server and their Local Area Network. With the cloud, you don’t need the same level of support staff available since it’s managed by a shared services pool of experts. Additionally, the number of courses and/or experience required to manage an OpenText environment is no small investment, not to mention that it doesn’t give you real-world experience in managing RTO or RPO. And, how are you planning on getting multiple years of experiences in a variety of different environments, encountering hundreds of issues to develop multiple approaches for best practices and resolution...? The simple answer is that you can’t unless you’re willing to make a significant investment by hiring several experienced resources, moving them to your location, and continually investing in knowledge upkeep.
And what about that “once-off payment”? The price tag and up-front installation costs can be steep. With Azure, you don’t have to invest in new machines, infrastructure, or replace aging servers and you also don’t need to make space for infrastructure or servers.
Myth #3 - Cloud solutions puts IT managers out of a job
Perhaps one of the most passive but prevalent forces cloud technologies took so long to be adopted by businesses were for internal and personal reasons. IT managers and system administrators had many concerns about job security and how a clouding strategy may impact their role within an organization - or even possibly eliminate it. “Bleeding edge technology is bad - we like to wait until things are settled before we venture into it.”, is what many an IT manager would say about technology from 1983.
Why it’s a myth
The reality is that jobs do change - but that doesn’t mean that anyone’s CV has to list a gap year to “find themselves”. Instead of being focused on trying to learn vendor technical components and worrying about managing RTO and RPO, IT managers and system admins will be focused on business administration, better aligning use cases with the functionality offered by the cloud product, implementing new features and increasing productivity - the kind of high-level tasks that bring money into the business. Cloud solutions leave the technical administration to the experts with many years of experience and the appropriate training, tools and technology.
No one loses their job, their jobs just become more specialized - which is a good thing for everybody.
Myth #4 - “The Cloud” is only for big business
Cloud solutions can be game changers - but many still think that it’s only for the big players in the industry. With the added overheads, perceived complications and additional upkeep, many businesses think that they just aren’t ready for cloud solutions yet. “Cloud storage? That for big, successful companies like Apple, Exon Mobile, or JP Morgan Chase. I could never afford it and have no need to”.
Why it’s a myth
This may have been the case when “The Cloud” was brand new, but today there are many cloud solution providers that cater for businesses of all sizes, including small and medium sized organizations.
In addition to this, there are many businesses (like Locus Systems) that can help you implement a managed cloud environment in a cost-effective and uncomplicated way.
The Cloud 9 Partner You Need
So, who’s the best partner to show you the way to Cloud 9 cloud management? We’d like to introduce you to our friends at Locus Systems.
Locus is a certified OpenText Services partner specializing in Microsoft Azure Cloud, Opentext xECM and GCI applications. They’ve been helping customers with successful deployments and application management for more than 28 years and have won the OpenText Partner of the Year Award - two times.
If you’d like to get started on your journey to a managed cloud environment for your business, contact them on email@example.com. Locus would love to help you meet your objectives.