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Cloud computing is currently a hot technology topic and if it isn’t on business owners’ minds today it will be soon. Cloud solutions that allow access to computing resources via the internet offer many benefits to business, including the ability to scale up on demand and provide employees with access to business data anywhere at any time, enhancing productivity.

But misunderstandings often create confusion and hinder adoption. Here are some of the most common myths about cloud computing:

Myth #1 – Cloud computing means you work via a browser

This is a common myth, often espoused by companies offering a cloud solution that is only accessed via a browser like Chrome, Safari or Internet Explorer. I wonder if they try telling tech giants like Spotify and Apple that their cloud services are not ‘real’ cloud because they’re accessed via an installed application on a computer, laptop or mobile device. To clarify for you, cloud computing is the delivery of resources, both hardware and software, as a service through a network. Most often via the internet. There is nothing to say that your access method to these cloud services has to be via a browser. In fact the real power of the cloud comes from the delivery of the service to your mobile device or a desktop application as well as to a browser.

Myth #2 – Cloud computing is new, and used by just a few businesses

In many ways cloud computing is simply a new term for a familiar concept and many of us have been using the cloud for years. All web-based email systems, such as Hotmail and Gmail, are cloud based, as are online banking systems. When you are checking email or make funds transfers through an application, you are using cloud solutions.

Myth #3 – Cloud computing will significantly drive down businesses IT costs

Cost reduction is one of the drivers for cloud adoption, and while the benefits are real they are often hard to fully capture. The cost reductions often cited are removal of internal IT systems and the personnel to manage them as a company moves to the cloud. But this is only true if everything moves to the cloud. This includes moving your email, office applications, file storage, accounting, CRM, payroll, and any other business software systems to cloud based solutions. If you retain a couple of key systems on local servers you will still require the hardware and some support staff.

There are certainly some benefits of a partial migration to the cloud – processes like software updates become much simpler – but obtaining the full benefits is often an unattainable goal. That’s not to say you shouldn’t research your options and strive for the best cloud-fuelled efficiency possible. Consider what will work best for you and your business.

Myth #4 – Data is not safe or secure in the cloud

Data security is often quoted as a barrier to cloud adoption amongst business, and the reality is that the threat to data is real and there are attempts by nefarious parties to access data stored in the cloud. However, professional cloud providers employ high levels of both physical and electronic security to protect their clients’ data. When considering a cloud solution it is important to check out the physical protection, redundancy such as back-up servers, databases and power, and electronic security. For example, MYOB work closely with Stratsec, one of Australia’s strongest and most awarded information security teams to conduct regular independent audits and penetration tests on both the servers and application.

Cloud computing delivers a positive impact for many businesses, but research into the benefits and considerations as well as the credibility of cloud providers is essential to help make more informed business decisions.

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John Moss

John Moss

John Moss is MYOB Chief Strategy Officer.

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