The cloud is a powerful, fairly new platform, particularly in the ERP computing space. With all the conversations folks are having about cloud computing, sometimes what the cloud really is – and can do – feels as foggy as its namesake. It turns out that the cloud is absolutely as great as everyone says it is: it can lead to significant cost savings, help you achieve business goals, strengthen company security, and provide a variety of other services along with unparalleled flexibility. But the key to maximizing the potential of the cloud for your business is separating fact from fiction. To help you do just that, let us address the veracity of four popular myths about the cloud.

Debunking 4 Popular Myths About the Cloud

Myth #1: Migrating to the cloud will always save money

Truth: While migrating to the cloud can save money, it is not guaranteed to save you money. There are studies that suggest moving to the cloud does still have a high likelihood of saving a company money. Of companies surveyed, 82% report saving money by moving to the cloud and 14% of companies were able to downsize their IT after adopting the cloud (Source: “20 Cloud Computing Statistics Every CIO Should Know,” by Jack Woods). However, cost management can be a challenge.  Moving to the cloud may not instantly guarantee cost savings, but companies can work to improve their cloud cost management in order to save money. For example, shutting down unused workloads, selecting low-cost clouds or regions, and monitoring utilization and rightsizing instances are ways that companies can create significant opportunity for cost savings.

Myth #2: Migrating to the cloud is a solution in and of itself

Truth: Sometimes companies move to the cloud just because they should. This, however, is not a cloud strategy. Like anything, moving to cloud computing isn’t going to help anything if you don’t understand why you’re doing it and if you don’t have a plan. Know what you hope to accomplish by moving to the cloud – identify your business goals. If you have a goal, then moving to the cloud can help you achieve it. Once you have identified business goal, map the potential benefits of the cloud to them. Also, mitigate any potential drawbacks. And remember, if you don’t have a goal, it will be hard to tell whether the cloud is working for you.

Myth #3: The cloud is less secure than on-premise options

Truth: The cloud has a whole host of security benefits that are often overlooked. The cloud can provide excellent and cost-effective back up and recovery solutions. The cloud is also able to store documents centrally to avoid the pitfalls of having employees email documents back and forth; that non-cloud based approach can lead to confusion and inefficiency, when employees reference different versions of the same document, and also increases the chance of a security breach with documents being emailed around with great frequency. And while lost laptops are a billion dollar business problem, cloud computing mitigates some of the biggest consequences of this problem. Since data is stored in the cloud, it’s not lost when the laptop is lost. And the cloud can give you the capability to remotely wipe data from lost laptops, increasing your security.

In actuality, there have been very few public cloud security breaches; more breaches happen in on-premises data center environments. Still, do your research and have your cloud providers demonstrate their security capabilities to you before signing on. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that you can operate securely using cloud capabilities..

Myth #4: We need to choose one vendor for all our cloud needs

Truth: Cloud computing is an umbrella term that covers many different functionalities and options. It’s okay to keep your options open, use different providers for different services and to adjust as you go. In fact, it’s recommended that you adjust your cloud usage as you go based on your changing needs. One of the clouds major benefits is flexibility. And, on average, an organization uses 545 different cloud services (Source: “20 Cloud Computing Statistics Every CIO Should Know,” by Jack Woods).

In conclusion, it’s well worth your while to give some serious thought to migrating to the cloud. Whether you’re new to the cloud, or already using it, make sure to take the time to evaluate your usage: Are you managing your cloud costs effectively? Have you identified a business goal or goals that the cloud is helping you to achieve? Have you done your due diligence on your cloud service provider’s security capabilities? Are you taking advantage of all the ways the cloud can provide your company with security? Do you have a vendor plan that addresses your various needs efficiently and effectively? And, finally, do you have policies in place to revisit your plans periodically to be sure you’re taking advantage of the cloud’s flexibility? If you’re doing these things, the benefits of cloud computing will hardly be fiction; instead, they’ll be hard fact.