By Robert Hoffmann, CEO of 1&1 Internet
Ten years ago the term "cloud"¬¨¬®‚àöœÄ had an entirely different meaning than it does today.
The term was previously used to describe a rather complicated and wholly mysterious concept, which no one but very experienced IT professionals could explain (and even then, not very well in most cases).
Cloud adoption rates over the past decade, however, have grown dramatically as the ideas and concepts have been simplified and better explained to those within the mass market. Now it is welcomed not only by businesses but by consumers too.
There are still skeptics, however, who have let ambiguous definitions and cloud-computing myths affect their decision-making processes, but there is little to no truth in any of these claims (three of which are dispelled below).
The Cloud is Just a Fad
Even experienced Web professionals may not realize it, but we have all been using cloud offerings for years. Email, social media, Web-based file storage - these are just a few examples of the solutions that consumers use on a daily basis to accomplish tasks and objectives. The only difference is that such cloud-based tools are becoming more mainstream for business operations.
With more tech companies introducing simplified cloud offerings to help customers achieve their goals, its growth shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Computerworld's 2015 forecast predicted that 42 percent of IT decision-makers plan to increase their cloud spending this year.
The Cloud isn't Secure
Perhaps the biggest hesitation of new adopters, the security of the cloud has been a concern since its inception. Consumers often believe that local servers and computers can be better protected than a cloud-based solution. This is simply not true, as experienced cloud providers have the ability to invest in high-level security and availability measures that often exceed the budgets of businesses with in-house servers.
While they may face the same threats as traditional environments (malware, denial of service attacks, etc.), cloud technology can actually be one of the most secure server solutions on the market. When investigating cloud for a business, decision-makers need to be sure to understand how the provider ensures the safety of its customers. For example, there should be anti-malware technologies like a firewall and anti-virus, intrusion detection and prevention systems and real-time analysis of security alerts. Together, all these components can deliver maximum security against cyberattacks and hackers.
It's Just Too Complicated
Technically speaking, yes, the cloud backend can be complex. However, cloud providers work to create solutions that simplify management of their products. It is understood that not every user is a tech expert, so it is important to make the incredible benefits of the cloud accessible to all types of users. Dashboards, for example, have reduced complexity across the tech industry, and the cloud is no different. They are created for the average user to jump right in without formal training.
CAN YOUR DATA EVEN BE MOVED?
A 2015 survey from MeriTalk of 150 federal executives indicates 57 percent of these professionals are worried about migration challenges, suggesting they're not sure the data can be moved at all. Get migration advice from professionals who have made the move at wsm.co/tips4migration.
Furthermore, many cloud options even deliver the ability to scale resources up or down by the minute. With simple sliders or other visuals, this can be accomplished just as easily as changing the volume on your mobile phone.
Like with all investments, in the end it comes down to choosing the right partner. So, take time to thoroughly investigate what security measures a cloud provider delivers and how their features help to manage the server.