Cloud Computing for SMEs: Myths and Hype Surrounding Cloud Computing (for non-techies)

Cloud Computing for SMEs: Myths and Hype Surrounding Cloud Computing (for non-techies)

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The advantages of the cloud are obvious, and by now, everywhere; yet as new technologies become available and widely used, opinions start rising… sometimes to the point of diverting us from a neutral perspective.

This neutral –informative– perspective is necessary so that facts are the true deciders on your business strategy, and we are here to help.

Let’s begin by quickly revisiting what cloud computing is: systems in which large groups of remote servers are networked together, providing online access to computer services and resources. It also allows for data storage across an organization to be centralized.

Now some important opinions raised by tech developers and users:

1. Fact: Cloud services rely on a continuous internet connection.

One side says: If this is challenged, it will do nothing but frustrate you and your end users.

Another side says: Internet connectivity is still being developed in many places, at the same time as teams starting to work in more remote locations, so keep this in mind and make sure the cloud platform you are using has a functional way to work offline.

Our experience: Go for efficiency: use the cloud. Go for safety: make sure you have an offline strategy when connectivity is down.

2. Fact: There’s a logistical difficulty of migrating from one cloud system to another.

One side says: If you’ve identified a cloud platform that suits your business, team and users needs, stick with it.

Another side says: If your business outgrows the solution, or your needs change, what is it going to take to export all your data from one cloud service to another? Will it be worth it, or even possible?

Our experience: Always keep your goals in mind, and consult with a software development team which also understands business, to ensure the right decision in at least med-long term. You can even consider custom solutions, which in the long term will make better sense than switching platforms continuously.

3. Fact: Security is always an issue to look into, and here are some areas to inspect: the provider’s service level agreements, the infrastructure they use, where it is located, the security accreditation they have…

One side says: If risk management is considered, there is no reason why security should be a legitimate restriction.

Another side says: Look into who the cloud company provides services to. If they are providing it to large organisations they will have to have the right levels of security.

Our experience: It is all about knowing the sensitivity level of your data and then taking the appropriate steps to secure it. Ask providers about security, always.

 4. Fact: Saving time is a high-relevance topic for small businesses, and cloud computing should reflect that.

One side says (still): “Time is money, and both can sometimes seem in short supply. Small business owners are rightly concerned about the cost benefits that come with working in the cloud”.

Another side says: Once you get started, cloud services make you a more efficient worker. If you remove the commute, the sharing and downloading documents, the time lost waiting for others to send information, the day, not only time, is saved.

Our experience: Time is everything, not only money. It resonates in resources, your team, overall burnout, your client’s patience, the modern attention span… using collaboration tools brings a level of flexibility and accessibility that is good for everyone involved.