There are many good reasons to look to the cloud when adopting new technologies—so many, in fact, that we sometimes forget there are some dangerous practices to avoid when choosing a cloud-based provider. Here are three common misunderstandings about the cloud that could use some straightening out.
1. Everything Hosted is Cloud
All cloud solutions are not created equal. To be more specific, not everything that is hosted offsite is a true cloud solution. Hosted software should not be placed automatically in the cloud category. Many manufacturers have simply cloudwashed their old premises-based software, put it in a data center and labeled it as a cloud service.
The truth of the matter is that “cloud” has more to do with the method of deployment than it does with the software itself. A true cloud deployment involves much more than simply moving equipment offsite. You can read more about how Thinking Phones handles this aspect of unified communications here.
2. One Size Fits All
Another big misconception is that the cloud is a good solution for every problem. Cloud services are often thought of as universally applicable because they are so large and comprehensive. But just because something is big and well-designed does not mean it is the right solution for your business every time. Some solutions better support enterprise companies, while other solutions cater to SMBs—not to mention those that fill the gaps in between.
Do yourself a favor and verify the solution you are leaning toward actually speaks back to your company's overall objectives.
3. The Cloud Lets You Skip Steps
The biggest letdown people experience when trying to adopt a cloud solution is feeling the solution didn’t fully deliver on its promise. This is likely due to skipping crucial steps during the planning process. Even with a cloud solution, there is no substitute for good preparation, and it is imperative the business processes that normally go into any type of rollout stay in play.
The primary objective of a successful cloud solution always should be to make business processes more effective and streamlined, not necessarily to make the IT process "faster and easier" to deploy. Technologies that come from the cloud typically are extremely complex, so skipping steps when planning a rollout almost certainly will result in a dissatisfied set of end users. Every box that needs to be checked off during a traditional technology deployment still needs to be checked off during a cloud deployment.
The moral of this story? Don't be deceived. More often than not, the cloud is going to better your company by helping you be more effective at what you are actually in business to do. However, if a new solution is implemented without a complete vision, it could bring heartache instead of happiness.
The preceding post originally appeared in the September 18, 2014 edition of Talkin' Cloud.