Clearing the skies of common cloud computing myths

December 15, 2014

Cloud computing has grown by leaps and bounds in the fairly short period of time in which it's been around for public consumption and use. Yet despite improved understanding of what the cloud is, there are a number of half-truths and misunderstandings about it, resulting in an uninformed consumer.

"Cloud computing, by its very nature, is uniquely vulnerable to the risks of myths," said David Smith, vice president and fellow at information technology company Gartner. "It is all about capabilities delivered as a service, with a clear boundary between the provider of the service and the consumer. So it should be no surprise that such an environment is rife with myths and misunderstandings."

The following are some of the most common myths surrounding cloud computing, accompanied by an explanation of where the truth lies.

Myth: Cloud computing is a solitary entity.

Many people are under the impression that when the cloud is referenced, individuals are talking about the public cloud, where all Internet users are able to access the same cloud for storage purposes. In actuality, there are three cloud subcategories, each one with its own set of strengths and weaknesses: public, private and hybrid. In other words, there's really no such thing as a one-size-fits-all cloud. Each also has its own service model such as software, platform and infrastructure. As Gartner notes, a cloud strategy should be based on aligning business goals with potential benefits.

Myth: Cloud computing is rife with security risks.

Information breaches have been widely reported over the past year, chiefly among retailers. This has caused some to speculate that the public is cloud is vulnerable to hacking attempts made by cyber criminals. To date, however, there has been a limited number of public cloud security breaches, as most have been related to on-premise storage environments.

Myth: Business processes must run in the cloud or on-premise.

There's a perception out there that because the cloud has a lot of economies of scale, it makes sense to shift all applications and data to it, the theory being that this will bring savings. However, there are very specific processes, including Latin America e-invoicing, that are directly tied to internal data systems, such as the sales and accounting applications.

Scott Lewin, president and CEO of Invoiceware International, indicated that what's becoming the go-to source for all things cloud for these complex business processes is the hybrid cloud, which mixes the functions of on-premise with cloud components.

"Because of the way Latin America mandates electronic invoicing, a purely on-premise solution provides you with no economies of scale – internal teams are bearing all the costs for something that is common to all companies doing business in that country. And purely cloud providers leave internal application teams with the headache of implementing, supporting, and changing 80 percent of the problem – keeping the internal ERP up to date with constantly changing legislation.

To the rescue: hybrid cloud solutions for Latin America E-Invoicing compliance.  Eliminate the ERP configuration and maintenance issues while gaining the cost savings due to economies of scale of the cloud service. Some companies are already seeing the ongoing annual maintenance cost reduced by upwards of 80 percent while increasing the productivity of their internal SAP users by 25 percent. That is not a bad combination – cost control with end user simplicity. "

For more information on the benefits of the hybrid cloud and how it helps companies achieve compliance, watch our two-minute explainer web video.


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