Ever-increasing storage and computing performance needs have forced both consumers and enterprises to search for new ways to manage their data and applications. Over the last decade, cloud computing has met these needs and taken the world by storm. We are accessing the cloud constantly, sometimes without realizing it, whether we are at work on our laptops and desktop computers, or on the go with our smartphones and tablets. Although cloud storage is popular amongst individuals and businesses, this technology remains widely misunderstood by a certain segment of the population (Gartner). This article covers the top four common misconceptions about the cloud.

Myth: Security is an issue with cloud computing

Fact: The cloud is often safer than storing digital assets locally or on private servers

As we’ve seen in the news lately with several widely reported retail data breaches, not storing your data in a safe environment can lead to disastrous consequences. Retailers who are considering making the move to cloud computing need to realize that this solution is as safe – and often, safer – as on-premise software. After all, do you think twice about storing your documents on Google Drive or are you simply pleased to have a backup in case you lose a document? Thus, moving all your digital activities to the cloud should be no less frightening. In fact, Gartner predicts that by 2018, 60% of businesses that implement appropriate cloud visibility and control tools will experience one-third fewer security failures (Gartner). The cloud today is as safe as any other storage platform. What’s more, major online players now offer PCI DSS certified solutions, and perform vulnerability assessments and penetration testing on a regular basis, making it safer than self-hosted solutions that are often left unmonitored.

Myth: The cloud is expensive

Fact: The cloud can help you save money

Contrary to popular belief, the cloud offers low total costs of ownership and can help reduce capital expenses, making it a financially viable way to manage sensitive data. In fact, cloud computing is both cost-effective and scalable, and offers a predictive cost structure. An in-house solution with the accompanying hardware can require expensive maintenance contracts, and unexpected repairs can easily eat into an IT budget. Today’s increasingly demanding professionals closely track their service expenses, and would be wise to invest in cloud storage to avoid end-of-month cost overruns.

Myth: The cloud is just another trend

Fact: The cloud is here to stay, offering features that today’s enterprises demand

Cloud computing truly arrived with the introduction of Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006, the leader for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service. In today’s ever-changing landscape, businesses need to rapidly adapt to customers’ constantly changing expectations. One of the key strengths of cloud computing is its scalability, both up and down, in response to customer demand. Its ease of use and low maintenance requirements makes cloud storage way more than a trend; it has become a staple of today’s business environment. Applications that run in the cloud can more easily be updated to the newest version, which in turn allows an enterprise to outpace its competitors.

Myth: Cloud computing is technically daunting

Fact: Implementing cloud solutions is not as challenging as it seems

Today’s cloud storage offers automatic backups and an easy to use interface, allowing users to manage all their data needs right at their fingertips. The cloud offers the flexibility to meet the needs of the largest organizations or the smallest one-man shop. With so many cloud-based services available today, it is not the technology that is intimating, but rather the lack of knowledge on the choices available.