Five myths about ‘the cloud’

Tim Minahan, chief marketing officer for SAP CloudMyth: The cloud is all about IT and total cost of ownership

Reality: The cloud is about driving new levels of process efficiency, collaboration, and insight. Line-of-business executives are embracing cloud technology to accelerate business transformation. In fact, market research company IDC predicts that by 2016, line-of-business executives will be involved in 80 per cent of all new IT investments and will function as the lead decision makers in more than half of those investments.

And, while the cloud certainly offers a cost advantage, the real benefit the cloud brings to business comes in two flavours: innovation and agility. With easy configuration and advanced development platforms, the cloud gives companies the agility they need to adapt processes quickly to capitalise on changing market dynamics and stay ahead of the competition. More importantly, businesses are tapping the cloud to enable new processes, gain new insights, and unlock new value.

Myth: You’re either on premise or in the cloud. You can’t be both.

Reality: The cloud is no longer an either/or proposition. It gives businesses flexibility and choice. And with the right vendor, you can mix public cloud applications and services, private cloud managed services, and on-premise technology to meet your company’s specific needs. In fact, a Wakefield Research study found that more than two-thirds of CIOs have adopted hybrid cloud models – that is, they are extending their on-premise applications and infrastructures with the cloud.

Myth: The cloud isn’t a proven platform for business.

Reality: It has transformed the very nature of business and engagement. Just as consumers use social tools and networks to shop, share and consume better, companies are leveraging cloud-based apps and business networks to collaborate more efficiently, connecting and interacting with ever-expanding communities of customers, suppliers and peers. Businesses of all sizes – from Fortune 10 to SMEs – are using the cloud not only to speed up process efficiency and productivity but to gain new insights, engage customers and partners in new ways, and, even, to unleash a new operating and business models that drive profitability and advantage in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace. In fact, Saugatuk Technology predicts that by 2016, 75 percent of new IT expenditures will be for cloud or hybrid systems.

Myth: The cloud isn’t secure

Reality: Leading cloud applications are developed with the same security mindset as on-premise software and maintained with frequent updates to ensure that the latest security standards are always in place. Leading cloud service providers ascribe to international security standards, such as SAS-70 Type II, ISO 27001, SSAE, PCI and more. They also employ measures to prevent attacks from the internet and attempted theft of customer data, including physical security.

Cloud solutions are in use by some of the most security-conscious organisations in the world – from government and military to research and development and financial institutions. And many companies have found that the cloud can provide an even more secure and up-to-date application and transaction environment than they could maintain on their own.

Myth: The cloud can’t adapt to my business

Reality: The beauty of the cloud lies in its scalability and flexibility. With easy configuration, public and private delivery options, and advanced development platforms, the cloud gives companies the ability to innovate quickly and design and deploy new applications and business processes that meet their unique requirements even faster to capitalise on changing market dynamics and stay ahead of the competition.

☛ Tim Minahan is chief marketing officer for SAP Cloud

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