Cloud computing has been the subject of more interest and comment than almost any ICT phenomena in recent years.
How the cloud works, the benefits it brings, the risks it exposes you to; each has generated prejudices and half-truths, many of them completely unfounded. In our new blog series we will debunk the most common myths, dispel the prejudices and bring the facts to light.
Myth number 3: the cloud is inflexible
A common misconception of cloud computing is that once signed up there is no turning back – that users no longer enjoy the control that comes with on-premises software, far from it, they are at the ‘mercy’ of the vendor. While this is true in some instances it is not the case with all, it depends on the commercial and technical flexibility of the vendor. Additionally when reading the trade press you could be forgiven for thinking the choice is polarised between either cloud or on-premises – for the vast majority this is an imagined and unrealistic dichotomy.
This was clearly demonstrated at the recent UNIT4 Customer Conference in Edinburgh by more than 400 senior business executives from across the public and private sectors that outlined a different scenario. Asked what proportion of their applications would be cloud-based in five years’ time, 88 per cent expect part of their systems to be cloud-based. Seven per cent expect their full application portfolio to be cloud based, while five percent expect no systems to rely on the cloud at all. So the large majority expect a ‘hybrid’ model, some on-premises, some cloud.
Respondents were also vociferous that they wanted choice to deploy and consume applications as needed, either in the public or private cloud, or on-premises – and move their applications and data between models.
And rightly so, business users experience change on a daily basis, the last thing they should expect, or experience, is technology that slows their reaction times and business strategy. Technology management consultants Eval-Source were recently quoted as saying:
“It’s clear that for many cloud applications, portability could be extremely difficult and costly. That’s fine as long as buyers understand the implications of that for the future. Not all organisations will want to change their deployment, but those who want complete agility will want to keep their options completely open.”
Cloud your way
We agree and have pioneered the ‘Cloud your way’ approach. There must be freedom of choice and the development of our cloud solutions reflect this; portability and a freedom to choose the cloud model that is right for customers is in-built so that they can quickly respond to change at a low cost.
Customers can move into the cloud, port between different cloud models, or move back on-premises. Should employees accidentally delete important information in the cloud there is even ‘disaster forgiveness’. Back-ups are kept for years and crucial data can be recovered with ease averting potential business disasters simply and rapidly.
So to spin this myth on its head: rather than being at the mercy of the technology, if you choose the right vendor flexible cloud actually provides maximum control so that customers can react to external change and execute internal strategy on their own terms.
To find out more about UNIT4′s cloud model click here.