Cutting through the misconceptions
What are the hallmarks of a true cloud solution?
Industry research indicates roughly 69 percent of organizations are moving business-critical applications to the cloud. Yet there are still fundamental misconceptions around what cloud is and the value it can deliver. Let’s break down some common myths and explore how a true cloud solution can be a significant differentiator for your business.
Clearing up the cloud confusion
Cloud-based computing (also called Software as a Service, or SaaS) allows users to access software applications over the internet. Think of it as Netflix for the business world.
Unlike legacy software solutions that live on your servers and can only be accessed on site or through a virtual private network (VPN), cloud applications are specifically written in and for the cloud so they can be shared online through remote data centres. Any authorized users (including employees, partners, vendors and customers) can securely access your data, files and records at any time, through any mobile device, from anywhere in the world.
This obviously raises some questions and concerns, so this is a good time to clear up three frequent misconceptions:
|Cloud computing heightens security and privacy risk.
|Moving to the cloud can enhance your data security and privacy compliance. Unlike many small and mid-sized businesses, leading cloud vendors (e.g. Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce, Google Cloud) have ample resources to invest in world-class security and service levels.
|Cloud computing threatens data ownership.
|Cloud vendors merely host data and files remotely so authorized users can access them online. The cloud client retains ownership of the data itself.
|Cloud computing is cost-prohibitive.
|The rising popularity and benefits of cloud computing have significantly reduced costs, making it affordable for even small to mid-sized enterprises.
Still a little cloudy on the details? It could be because even vendors are inconsistent in how they define the cloud and may not be delivering the value you need or expect from your solution.
For instance, because the applications weren’t written specifically for the cloud, simply hosting your existing client server software on a cloud platform isn’t true cloud. Similarly, you may be able to access your desktop virtually through out laptop or tablet — however, that likely requires both to be connected to a piece of hardware called a terminal server and this type of set-up doesn’t confer the advantages of a true cloud solution.
In fact, you’re probably only enjoying true cloud computing if you realize the following benefits:
- You have access to best-of-breed security and enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology through your cloud provider. Leading cloud providers invest heavily in security to protect your data and applications from emerging threats. True cloud automatically pushes software updates to you so you always have access to the latest system features and functions.
- Your IT team isn’t bogged down by system maintenance, user support or software patching. Your cloud provider is doing it for you, freeing up your IT team to focus on revenue generating activities.
- Every authorized user can securely access designated software applications remotely, enabling collaboration across multiple locations and multiple departments in real time. This enhances your team’s productivity, delivers a measurable competitive edge by improving your vendor and partner experience, streamlines internal workflows and strengthens customer relationships.
- Intuitive dashboards and flexible reporting tools let you easily track your key performance indicators (KPIs) in real time, while automatic updates give you one consistent view of the truth.
- You have anywhere, anytime access to the full functionality of your ERP applications on any device rather than being able to access limited functions such as time entry.
Getting it right
If you’re thinking of moving to the cloud, or your cloud solution isn’t delivering the benefits you need or expect, MNP can help. To learn more, contact Kerry Mann, National Leader of Enterprise Resource Planning at 647.480.8400 or Kerry.firstname.lastname@example.org