With a compound annual growth rate of 16% and a worldwide market that hit $246.8 billion in value at the end of 2017 according to Forbes, it’s clear that cloud computing is one “trend” that shows no signs of going away anytime soon. For even the average enterprise, cloud computing represents something much larger than simple efficiency.
It’s a way for employees to come together in a meaningful way that can usher in a bold new era of productivity and collaboration. It’s a way to better align one’s IT infrastructure with their long-term goals as a business. It’s a way for companies to truly work “smarter, not harder,” likely for the first time.
Which means, of course, that your C-Suite is absolutely terrified of it.
Yes, making the jump into the world of cloud computing brings with it a certain amount of disruption – but “disruption” doesn’t have to have nearly as much of a negative connotation as certain people seem willing to give it. In truth, many of the perceived downsides that your CEO and other leaders are worried about aren’t even downsides at all – they’re myths that need to be shattered as quickly as possible so that your entire business can leverage the cloud to innovate the way that it needs to for the modern era.
You’re Not Going to Lose Control
Perhaps the biggest fear (read: myth) that most CEOs and other company leaders have about cloud computing is the idea that you’re giving up control of your data by letting a third party manage your assets. When you keep everything in-house, all of that proprietary data is essentially locked down at all times. It exists on a server in a room somewhere in the building. You can go there whenever you want and look at it. You know exactly what steps have been taken to protect it, and you know exactly where to go if something is wrong.
In reality, you’re probably more in control of your data when it’s in the cloud than you’ve ever been thanks to how flexible a cloud-based environment truly is. Anything that organizational leaders are specifically worried about can be stored in a private cloud – which includes many of the benefits of the public cloud with a higher level of security and privacy. For data where less internal control is required, a public cloud or even a hybrid option will do just fine.
Thanks to the cloud, control is no longer an “all or nothing” affair. You have a say in the matter while still enjoying the scalability and agility that only the cloud brings with it.
Your Data Isn’t More Vulnerable
Another major pain point that most CEOs have is the idea that data is suddenly less secure in the cloud. After all, if a file is constantly being uploaded and downloaded to and from a remote server, it’s now vulnerable in three places instead of one: on the server, on the host computer and in transit. Right?
The major way that cloud providers keep your data safe is through encryption, which includes both at rest (meaning once the file has been downloaded) and in transit (meaning while the file is being accessed) encryption. This means that even if a file were intercepted by a rogue user during a download, they wouldn’t be able to access the critical data contained inside.
But the security benefits don’t stop there. Amazon Web Servers, for example, have more than 1,800 different security controls that govern its services and how it protects the data of users all over the world. Likewise, most cloud providers also make aspects like audits and compliance a major selling point to concerned enterprise users everywhere.
If you’re in an industry where data compliance requirements are constantly changing, the burden is on YOU to make sure you always meet or exceed them. All activities in the cloud, on the other hand, are constantly monitored and audited by a third party to guarantee that ALL security standards are met. If regulations change, you don’t have to worry about making the necessary adjustments – they’re made automatically on your behalf.
The Other Benefits of Cloud Computing
Who to Call?
One of the other major issues that company leaders are likely to have has to do with data availability in the cloud. If something breaks on site, you can have the IT team get on it right away. If something breaks in the cloud, how do you even know who to call?
This, too, is a peculiar myth – especially when you consider that data in the cloud is designed to be ALWAYS available by design. For starters, most cloud providers guarantee 99.999% uptime because it’s literally their job to make sure that your data is always available. Even if a problem does arise, it’s the job of the provider to fix it immediately, as keeping their services as functional and as bug-free as possible is part of what their entire business model has been built around.
Bug fixes, patches, updates – these are the types of issues that are taken care of automatically by design in the world of cloud computing. You don’t have to worry about whether a security vulnerability has been addressed because it will be. You don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re using the latest version of a particular piece of software or application because you are. You don’t have to worry about virus detection, malware scanning or other network security issues because it’s part of the subscription package that you’re already paying for.
All of these administrative tasks that used to get in the way of actually running a business are now gone. Even factors like depreciation, the cost of maintaining your environment and potentially investing in physical resources that you’ll never fully utilize are now firmly in the past. In exchange, you get access to the latest that modern technology has to offer for a fraction of the cost and an infrastructure designed to let employees work any time, from any device, in any location, no exceptions.
These are some of the major benefits of cloud computing for enterprise businesses – but they’re far from the only ones. Even when you consider things in just these terms, the argument against making the shift into the cloud doesn’t seem like very much of an argument at all.