|By Harry Trott||
|June 23, 2015 01:00 PM EDT||
The days of hosting websites and applications on your own in-house server are numbered. The recent RightScale State of the Cloud report found that close to 88% of businesses today make use of the public cloud while 63% are on a private cloud. As more and more businesses choose to depend on the cloud, it is not unreasonable to be cynical and doubt the evolution. Are businesses risking it all by moving their data to the cloud? Or is this a totally thought-out move? If you are a business that is yet to make the move and have your questions unanswered still, this article will attempt to allay those fears.
Typically, there are three major “concerns” that decision makers have regarding the cloud. They are:
- Hidden costs
Let us take a look at them one by one.
Security : Incidents of security breach of cloud hosted applications in the recent past have made security a talking point when it comes to cloud. But a study conducted by Alert Logic found that in terms of likelihood, both on-premise and cloud hosted applications stood an equal chance of being targeted. However, on-premise applications were more vulnerable considering that a lot more brute force was deployed in targeting these applications. Also, unlike third party service providers that can set up multiple levels of network security with only incremental rise in cost, businesses that have on-premise hosted applications may find similar investments in network security cost-prohibitive.
Reliability : Cloud hosting had reliability issues when it first came about. But today, it is much safer to host on the cloud than doing it on your own server. Regardless of how state-of-the-art your private network is, your in-house IT team cannot guarantee a 100% up-time guarantee. This is because of forces outside your control. But companies offering virtual private servers often have multiple points of redundancies which makes it actually possible to guarantee a 100% uptime rate.
Hidden Cost : Cost is one of the primary reasons for businesses to migrate to the cloud. Unlike traditional on-premise hosting, cloud hosting does not require a capital expenditure. Also, scaling up and down is as easy as clicking a mouse button. But a recent Gartner report threw spanner in the works by noting that in some cases, companies must commit to a predetermined contract independent of actual use. While there is no doubt that corporate greed may cause some providers to introduce such clauses, this is not a widespread phenomenon. As a business decision maker, always read the fine-print and choose the provider who provides what you are looking for.
Besides these, there are also concerns that cloud may be inflexible in that your applications may not work on the proprietary platform hosted on the server. While this is yet another common concern, the fact is that in a market that covers 90% of business services worldwide, there are bound to be providers who only serve on proprietary platforms while there are others who offer open-ended platforms that are customizable to your business needs. At the end of the day, finding the right cloud hosting provider is not very different from finding the right email or ERP provider – there are dozens of them in the market and a comprehensive research will help you identify those that will fit your business needs while bringing in all the advantages of the cloud to your application that is hosted on-premise.
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