Debunking 5 Common Cloud Reporting Myths
Confused about the cloud? Here are 5 myths about cloud computing debunked for you.
Cloud computing has changed the way businesses get things done; however, people are still unsure about the new concept.
The Cloud might have been around for some time, yet there are still some common myths floating around that aren’t entirely true, even when it comes to reporting on your findings or collecting data. After all, cloud computing makes it even easier to share data and get input from others.
Below are 5 common cloud reporting myths and why they’re (mostly) false:
Cloud Computing Is Only for Big Businesses with Lots of Data
Small businesses that want to use cloud computing to help them keep organized or reduce costs have long thought that the cloud isn’t for them. This is partly down to the advertising attitude surrounding the cloud: it’s easy to get the impression that you need a lot of data to make the best of the cloud. With services like Box and Dropbox offering discounts to big teams and more data storage than small businesses would ever need, it’s unsurprising that many smaller teams think they don’t need these services.
However, this isn’t the case at all. You don’t need to be a large team to make great use of the cloud. Free services from the likes of Google are super-helpful for small businesses, too. With the ability to share spread sheets — no matter what device your colleagues are using — your business will be able to better handle data such as costs and inventory. For instance, a small coffee shop would be able to use Google Drive to update records of how much coffee you use a week and how well certain food items are selling in the shop.
It doesn’t matter whether there are 10 or 100 of you, everyone can take advantage of cloud computing and there are a lot of options out there.
The Cloud Is the Future for Everything in IT
You might hear people talk about the cloud as if it’s the future of everything to do with computers. It might start to sound like it’s the only concept to matter in a decade or so. For some things, that might be true, but in a world of surveillance and more adventurous hackers, you don’t want everything in the cloud. Besides, cloud computing is only really hitting its peak, and it still has a long way to go before it covers everyone’s needs.
Extremely sensitive company data, such as financial reports and estimates, are definitely not something you idly upload to your Dropbox. Besides, there are alternatives out there for when you need extra security, like operating a business-wide virtual private network. That way you still get some flexibility, and you can keep your security.
It’s Not Safe in the Cloud
As we discussed above, security is a big concern for major players. Another myth surrounding the cloud is that it’s not secure. While it’s not easy to say that whichever cloud-based service you go with is completely secure, the cloud is no less secure than your own laptop. Recent surveys have said that the majority of large-sized US companies have been hacked in recent years, and security experts will say that the remaining portion of businesses just don’t know they’ve been hacked. Keeping all of those reports and all that data in the cloud can be daunting, for sure.
However, the cloud isn’t the leaky ship the media would have you believe. Unlike your small IT department, major firms like Google and Dropbox can move quickly to plug holes and better take care of your data.
The Cloud is Just One More Expense
While Google, Box, Dropbox and even Microsoft offer free cloud services, sometimes the only option for businesses that want to use the Cloud is to pay for it. Of course, then it just seems like you’re paying for more backup storage, something you could easily do by purchasing some inexpensive external hard drives. However, the cloud is much more than that, and no, it’s not just another expense.
For one thing, cloud services are relatively cheap, considering what they offer. For another, the cloud can save you a lot of money depending on how you use it. Services like Dropbox and Google Drive put everyone on the same page when working together, making those inventory reports accessible to everyone, anywhere, and in real time. This sort of tool cuts down on mistakes and wastage. People around the office will be more efficient, thanks to the ability to quickly bring up spreadsheets from any computer — even at home. Use these inexpensive tools to speed things up, and you could save a lot in the long run.
Your IT Department Can Build A Cloud That’s Just as Good
This is another myth that the media has cooked up. Yes, you can create your own cloud with a simple file server and some open-source technology. It’s quite useful, too. You’ll always know where your company’s financials are kept and yet you still have access to “the cloud.”
However, there’s nothing worse than think your homemade cloud is as powerful and reliable as that of Google’s. After all, when the file server hosting your cloud fails, your cloud goes with it. And relying on Dropbox and Google takes away the headache of having to go it alone. If something does go wrong, there are probably hundreds of backups of your data. When a drive or server fails somewhere in a Microsoft building, you’ll never even notice.
So, there you have it. Five common cloud reporting myths debunked. If you’ve been thinking about how the cloud can help your company more efficiently create reports and keep on top of things, you might be concerned. However, you needn’t be. The cloud is only just taking off, so these teething problems will be worked out. The cloud is as secure as you make it; if you really can’t afford a leaked report, don’t hit upload.You don’t have to worry about the cloud taking over either; traditional desktop computing will be around for years to come.
Image by kevin dooley