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The biggest cloud myths, busted

Let’s get real: When it comes to the cloud, what’s true and what’s not?

When we help organizations on their cloud journeys, the first step is to ask questions. A lot of questions. We want to know about your biggest goals and challenges, so we can create a custom cloud roadmap for your business. And, in turn, you ask us a lot of questions, so you can be clear-eyed and informed on what your cloud transformation will look like.

Over many conversations and many years in the cloud biz, we’ve heard a lot of cloud myths. So let’s bust them here and now.

Myth #1: The cloud is just storage

The cloud’s storage capabilities are truly next-level, and maybe that’s how a lot of organizations first venture into this new territory. But cloud capabilities go far beyond storage.

Once you’ve moved your data management to the cloud and off clunky on-premise machinery, you’re freed up to do the things you really want to do with your business: drive innovation, get products to market faster, and strengthen your core business. And the software you’ll need to do all of these things? It’s ready and waiting in the cloud, if you want it.

The cloud is an elastic, dynamic, and infinitely capable environment. Whatever your business goals, the cloud gets you there.

Myth #2: The cloud is an IT thing, not people or products

Just the opposite—the cloud is ALL about people and products.

For example, a patient in a rural town goes to the doctor with a mysterious heart pain. The puzzled doctor uploads a recording of the patient’s heartbeat to a cloud-based app. Rather than sending the patient to a better-equipped clinic further away, both patient and doctor get results, and are able to decide next steps then and there.

And that’s just one. We could list infinite examples.

The cloud also helps you attract and maintain top employees by creating a great work experience. Your sales force can absolutely kill it with the power of a cloud-based CRM to find, track, manage, win over, and support clients—on any device, anywhere, any time.

The staff in your restaurant swaps shifts easily and transparently. Your kitchen tracks which dishes are consistently more popular. Your sommelier knows exactly what’s in the cellar after a weekend away. Basically anything you can think of that will make launching your product or running your business easier, it’s in the cloud.

Myth #3: The cloud is less secure

Not true. It’s natural to feel nervous about moving your data to another company’s platform (the ultimate trust exercise), but the cloud is secure. Really.

We’ve all heard the data-breach horror stories in the media. Hackers getting credit card info, social security numbers, cell phone numbers. But these data breaches weren’t because the data was in the cloud. They were due to human error or negligence, like not doing regular software updates or security patches.

Rest assured, cloud providers are extremely serious about your security. The major cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud have entire squads of PhDs dedicated one hundred percent to your security. Think about it: these are the companies keeping your Google searches and Amazon data secure.

Microsoft has a cyber defense operations center to give the company around-the-clock access to whatever it needs to respond to cyber threats. It also has a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack protection platform that analyzes traffic in real-time and has the capability to respond and mitigate an attack within 90 seconds of the detection.

Who’s better equipped than the world’s security experts to keep your data secure? No one. These people (and technologies) are the best in the business, and you’ll want them on your team. That’s why companies from Netflix to Alaska Airlines to NASA are in the cloud.

Myth #4: You’ll automatically save money when you migrate

The cloud will likely save you money in the long run. But it won’t necessarily be right away, and it shouldn’t be the number one driver of your cloud transformation.

Whereas you might immediately save money on, say, software licensing and on-premise infrastructure, the upfront costs of migration mean that it could be a few months or more before you see the savings needle move in that positive direction.

You can choose just one part of your business to migrate, and leave the rest in your on-premise system forever. The cloud doesn’t call the shots on your migration—you do.

Again, you will almost certainly save money by migrating. You’ll find efficiencies you never knew existed—whether it’s overlapping software that no longer serves you, or the redundancy of backing up your data to a second set of hardware, which then sits idle sucking up energy and capital. You’ll save money by nixing costly security vulnerabilities (see above!). You’ll grow and shrink your cloud capacity at will and only pay for what you use, rather than signing up for X capacity paying full price no matter what. You may find ways to move great IT people to more strategic areas. You’ll get products to market with more efficiency.

These are great advantages to being on the cloud (hey, we all want to save money everywhere we can), but there are more important drivers—like security, flexibility, collaboration, quicker innovation—that will give you the biggest payoff.

Myth #5: Migration is all or nothing

That would be a nightmare. Thankfully, the cloud is amazingly elastic and open-ended. You can migrate a little now, a little later. You can choose just one part of your business to migrate, and leave the rest in your on-premise system forever. The cloud doesn’t call the shots on your migration—you do. Slalom can help you identify your best path forward and up.

Myth #6: You’re late to the game

Actually, your timing is perfect. Brilliant, even.

We're thankful for the early adopters who journeyed into the cloud years ago. Those brave companies did some heavy lifting, identifying pitfalls and methodologies that needed work. We were deep in it, helping the early adopters back then, so we can tell you from experience, this is the very best time, in the relatively short history of the cloud, to consider moving your business. Why? Because the process is clearer. Cloud providers are more robust and dynamic. Security is at its greatest. We could go on.

It’s the right time to start thinking about the cloud. But even if you aren’t quite there yet, it will never be too late.

To learn more about the latest and greatest methodologies for building secure infrastructure in the cloud, read our whitepaper: How to Eat an Airplane.