Many businesses believe common cloud misconceptions

January 24, 2012

It's difficult for enterprises to successfully leverage new technology if their IT departments don't fully understand the advantages and challenges associated with each prospective product. In a recent InfoWorld report, cloud computing expert David Linthicum examined the most common misconceptions about enterprise cloud adoption.

According to Linthicum, many businesses wrongly believe that using the public cloud results in giving up security, despite most experts saying the contrary. Linthicum said cloud security risks can be limited or erased depending on the planning, policies and technology of each enterprise and cloud provider.

Meanwhile, the report said some IT decision-makers are concerned transitioning services to the cloud will eventually eliminate their job. In reality, Linthicum said, cloud computing will impact the required skills and daily functions of IT positions, but it won't result in fewer employment positions.

Several businesses have yet to adopt cloud computing because they believe it's an all-or-nothing transition, an assessment that most IT experts and Linthicum disagree with. Flexibility is a significant advantage of the cloud, enabling enterprises to use only the services that fit their specific needs and pay for storage and applications on an affordable usage scale. For example, a company could implement a Software-as-a-Service solution while leaving data storage functions on in-house servers. Linthicum said it's also a misconception among some businesses that cloud computing forces them to replace their entire network.

Despite many businesses misunderstanding the benefits and challenges of implementing and managing the cloud, the majority of them have a cloud strategy or are currently developing one. According to a recent InformationWeek survey, SaaS and Platform-as-a-Service are driving increased cloud usage among companies, as 57 percent percent of cloud adopters use SaaS and 42 percent use PaaS.

-McAfee Cloud Security