Since the infamous ‘Blue Screen’ (of Death) never has a technology term been spoken as frequently as the term ‘Cloud’. At least that’s the way it seems. The last several years have had industry professionals and end users alike talking about implementing the cloud, putting data in the cloud and running cloud applications. You could say that for an industry that is better known for being technically savvy, and not always marketing savvy, they have hit a marketing home run.
Ironically, after initially zooming toward the cloud, there are now some people in the industry suggesting we all slow down a bit. After all, isn’t the public cloud just the same thing that we used to call an Application Service Provider? And isn’t the private cloud just an on premise application run remotely? End users are starting to wonder just where their data is located, if it is safe, and how they will get it back if their cloud provider goes out of business.
So, the technology industry finally hits a marketing concept out of the park, and now it wants to stop at first with a single. Here’s even more irony, a recent research study showed that almost 30% of users of the cloud didn’t realize that they were using it. Before you assume you’re not included in that crowd consider that ToSolution implements cloud-based products for anti-spam, email continuity and off-site backup storage for the majority of our clients in the Greater Milwaukee Area. You know that your IT service provider is offering you solutions, but do you know whether or not they are cloud-based solutions?
CompTia recently released its Trends in Cloud Computing Report for 2014. The following are a few highlights from that report.
- The majority of cloud usage falls under 3 categories: storage, business continuity/disaster recovery and security
- The top objection by companies for cloud adoption is security followed by internet downtime, integration and data portability.
- Only 46% of vendors/companies offering cloud solutions describe their offering as mature
- Only 39% believe they are on the correct path
- 29% of companies have already moved applications off the cloud and brought them back on premise
- Yet, up to 80% of all sized organizations will have some cloud adoption by 2016
With most innovations in the technology sector large organizations are the first adopters. Depending on the viability and Return on Investment these innovations tend to flow downstream, eventually making it to the small business.
Cloud changed that downstream movement. While most large organizations are keeping their email systems in-house, many smaller firms are utilizing Microsoft and Google for email and document services. Small businesses have also found it prudent to use cloud-based backup services in addition to their on-site solution to ensure their data is safe in case of disaster.
The last item under Transformed IT stands out – Higher Cost! Research shows that companies significantly underestimate two key factors when considering moving a major application to the cloud. One is the network bandwidth, the other is security.
There are plenty of great uses for cloud technology, but it isn’t a magic carpet ride that will suddenly make IT within your organization a trouble free zone. Many of the same business principles that apply to other technology decisions should be used for cloud-based decisions as well.
Are you still wondering, “Is the cloud right for me?” We’re here to help you sort through the questions and determine if moving to the cloud is the right decision for your business.
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About the Author: Tim O’Neil is President and co-founder of To Solution, Inc., an information technology company based in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Visit https://tosolution.com/blog to read more of Tim’s blogs or connect on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/oneiltim