Cloud is recognized as facilitating “speed-to-market” – and for its ability to drive business agility. This is because cloud supports rapid experimentation and innovation by allowing companies to quickly try and even adopt new solutions without significant up-front costs. The Cloud can be a highly agile wrapper around different systems, different behavior and bringing it all together in an engagement cycle. By changing the way people interact with technology, cloud enables new forms of consumer engagement, expand collaboration across the value chain and bring innovation to companies' core business models.
10 Myths about Cloud Computing
No. 1: Cloud is always about money
The prevalent myth about the cloud is that it always saves money. This is sometimes the case, but there are many other reasons for migrating to the cloud, the most common of which is for agility.
All business decisions, including those about cloud, are ultimately about money. Even if agility is the ultimate goal, cost is still a concern. Don't assume you will save money unless you have done the hard work of honestly analyzing your situation.
Utilize total cost of ownership and other models on a case-by-case basis. Segment cloud into use cases. Look beyond cost issues. It is important to ensure that the business does not have unrealistic cost saving expectations that aren't delivered upon.
No. 2: You have to be cloud to be good
Are you “cloud-washing?” Cloud-washing, or the tendency to call things cloud that are not, may be accidental and a result of legitimate confusion. But IT organizations and vendors call many things cloud as part of their efforts to gain funding, make sales, and meet ill-defined cloud demands and strategies. This results in the myth that an IT product or service must be cloud to be good.
Rather than relying on cloud-washing, call things what they are. Many other capabilities, such as automation and virtualization, are strong enough to stand on their own.
No. 3: Cloud should be used for everything
Cloud is a great fit for some use cases, such as highly variable or unpredictable workloads or for where self-service provisioning is key. However, not all applications and workloads are a fit for cloud. For example, unless clear cost savings can be realized, moving a legacy application is generally not a good use case.
The cloud may not benefit all workloads equally. Don't be afraid to propose noncloud solutions when appropriate.
No. 4: “The CEO said so” is a cloud strategy
“The CIO,” “the board” or some other elusive source can take the place of the CEO in this myth. Many companies still don't have a cloud strategy. That cloud strategy needs to be based on sound business goals and realistic expectations.
A cloud strategy should be more than a mandate — it should identify business goals and map potential benefits of the cloud back to them. Cloud should be thought of as a means to an end. The end must be specified first.
No. 5: We need one cloud strategy or vendor
Even with more interest in multicloud today, many businesses still desire simplicity. However, cloud computing is just not one thing, and a cloud strategy has to be based on this reality. Cloud services are broad and span multiple levels, models, scope and applications.
A cloud strategy must be able to accommodate the use of more and more cloud services. The organization needs to realize that it will be relatively impossible to get everything from one vendor. A single cloud strategy makes sense only if it uses a decision framework that allows for and expects multiple answers.
6. Multi-cloud solves vendor lock-in and other management challenges
Many enterprises believe if they hedge deployments across multiple clouds, they avoid vendor lock-in to a primary cloud infrastructure provider, Roberts said. This belief is perpetuated by several third-party software vendors and consultancy firms.
On paper, it makes sense and is a common IT practice. Yet, once users start to deploy a multi-cloud strategy, they could face numerous challenges, such as security, compliance and cost management, that could offset the benefits of reduced vendor lock-in risks.
7. Containers always ease multi-cloud deployments
Containers and Kubernetes clusters can make it easier to migrate applications across clouds, and many executives believe these abstractions prepare the applications for multi-cloud scenarios.
“The harsh reality is that not every workload can or should be containerized,” Feeney said.
The further away a legacy workload is from a 12-factor app, the less likely it could run in production in a container. Only consider multi-cloud in the context of SaaS or a poly-cloud strategy that separates workloads across cloud platforms, such as Google for machine learning, AWS for app deployment and Azure for .NET applications. Enterprises best realize the benefits of cloud when they go deep on a particular platform and use its native services.
8. Cloud is less secure than on-premises systems
Data breaches in the cloud get a lot of attention, but in general this public cloud security myth simply isn't true. AWS, Microsoft, Google and other major cloud providers are hyperfocused on security and regularly perform external auditing to ensure full compliance and certification for their infrastructure.
At the software level, providers apply security best practices and use a range of technologies, from firewalls and intrusion prevention to data loss prevention and rootkit detection based on machine learning. However, IT professionals must still set policies and configure applications properly.
“While the public cloud can be more secure, it's a shared responsibility,” said Ashish Thusoo, co-founder and CEO of Qubole, a cloud data platform.
9. Cloud data is public
“Because the term public is used, many users have the false impression that the data that they store in the cloud is easy to get and is not private,” said Engin Kirda, co-founder and chief architect at Lastline, a network security provider.
While it is true that data hosted for free is often analyzed and used for marketing purposes by companies such as Facebook or Gmail, pay-to-play public cloud providers have strong data protection and privacy guarantees as a part of their business models. It is in the provider's best interest to make the cloud as secure as possible.
10. Users lose control of their cloud data
While it's hard to debunk this public cloud myth, Erez Berkner, CEO of Lumigo, a serverless monitoring platform, believes none of the major cloud service providers would risk their reputation to spy on customers, as the implications could be harmful to their business. In fact, they've increased ways to see their activity — Google's Access Transparency service, for example, enables enterprises to see the vendor's actions in their clouds.
The same goes for where data is stored in the cloud. Enterprise customers often fail to realize that various configurations make it possible to absolutely restrict where their data resides, which could alleviate some of the anxiety, Roberts said.