By Vijender Yadav, CTO, Thinspace
A number of misconceptions that surround cloud computing are preventing CIOs from taking the plunge. Despite the phenomenal rise in adoption of cloud computing, there are many misconceptions or myths that still prevent many organizations from using it in a big way. From security risks and data recovery to privacy and cost concerns, IT leaders are still trying to find answers for many questions. According to Gartner, cloud computing is susceptible to the perils of myths due to the nature, confusion and hype surrounding it. These myths not only slow things down, but also induce unfounded fears and prevent CIOs from taking advantage of cloud innovation.
It is time for CIOs to abandon these fears and leverage cloud computing for the benefit of their business. Some common concerns include:
Cloud service providers don't respect privacy and will invest less in protecting companies' data
With a number hacking incidents witnessed recently by various large multinational companies, security has become the most common concern for IT leaders. But, on the contrary, cloud providers actually focus a lot on information security. If they didn't, they would soon run out of business. Most service providers make extra efforts to make sure that all the emails, files or other content stored in the cloud does not mix with other users' data. In addition, data is protected with encryption by restricting the use of specific IP ranges, which means companies will have total control over security.
Companies using the same cloud provider could access each other's data
The other big concern that people have is when they share the same server using a virtual machine, they might be subjected to an attack by another user on that machine. But the fact is that cloud providers use adequate safety measures to prevent such mishaps. Actually, in shared environments, the service provider uses a hypervisor which manages the virtual machines and protects data to be attacked from other users.
Data stored in the cloud is more susceptible to risk i.e., data is not secure
Security is always a concern when connecting to the web. But just because some services are technically hosted on the machine of the cloud service provider doesn't make it inherently less secure. Before selecting a cloud provider, users must check for cloud computing software and other products which allow enterprise customers and users the ability to access their desktop and applications such as mail, files, programs, etc. securely from anywhere in the world at any time ï¿½ easily, efficiently and cost-effectively.
Data stored in cloud can't be restored once lost
Another misconception is that sensitive data saved on cloud can't be restored once lost. However, cloud service providers make use of a strategy which enables enterprises or individuals to store their data and computer files on the internet using a storage service, rather than storing the data locally on a physical disk, such as a hard drive or tape backup. This allows customers to remotely access the provider's services using a secure client log in application to back up files from the customer's computers or data center to the online storage server using an encrypted connection.
Impact of cloud computing on energy consumption
Cloud computing energy consumption has been a source of much debate. Recently, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and North-western University researchers predicted that U.S. companies could actually decrease computing energy footprints by 87% by shifting spreadsheets, email and customer management to the cloud. In addition to energy savings, certain cloud computing providers with special cloud computing software, save customers money by not having to upgrade old desktop computers which requires the purchase and installation of costly hardware.
Cloud computing is meant only for technology sector
Over the years internet has become all pervasive and today there is hardly any organization that can remain untouched by its powers. It's not just technology related companies who want to save and access data via internet-based software but also other sectors/industry like medical, educational, automotive, service providers, and even creative fields finds it beneficial. Who would not want to save, secure and access data anytime & anywhere?
Implementation of cloud is expensive and it's just a passing fad
Many still have doubts regarding the initial investments and incremental costs of cloud computing and even believe that it might prove more expensive than their traditional setup. In reality, cloud computing helps users to avoid costly up-front capital investments in infrastructure and also provides greater flexibility by allowing firms to pay for excess capacity only when they need it. Moreover there is no need of continual maintenance. In addition, cloud improves time-to-market as a new server can be created or brought online in minutes.
As the popularity of cloud computing continues to grow at a tremendous pace, there still remain a few old-fashioned critics, who believe that it is just a passing fad. Reality is that cloud computing is one of those technologies that have already passed the phase of evolution, and has now become an essential part of every business, serving the needs of even the larger organizations quite efficiently.