There is little doubt, across today’s economic and technological landscape, that cloud computing has profoundly impacted how business is conducted. It has changed the rules. We live in an age of marketing buzzwords, of which, “cloud” is one of the most popular. The business world is enchanted by the idea of data unrestricted by geography, accessible anywhere at any time, but protected by enterprise-class security. Everybody wants to play in the clouds; everybody wants a piece of the action. And it’s not surprising, considering the fact that the cloud offers some great benefits and represents the direction business is heading. Unfortunately, it has also drawn the impostors out in full force. Known as “cloud washing“, many providers advertise “cloud” solutions which are not quite what they seem, exploiting the popular terminology while concealing hidden costs, complexities and complications.
Here are some questions you should ask to determine if a system or technology is genuine cloud or “cloud washed”:
Does it sit up in the cloud or on the edge of your network?
Many providers say their solution is cloud but what they mean is only in a ‘private cloud’ (where the server resides inside a company’s own network environment), or a ‘hybrid cloud’ (where the applications or systems are mixed between on-premise and hosted). Genuine cloud solutions exist in the public cloud in their entirety.
Does it scale automatically?
True cloud solutions automatically scale both up and down to handle shifting transaction volumes and traffic patterns.
Was it born in the cloud (built from scratch in the cloud) or has it been ported?
On premise solutions that are modified to run in a virtual environment (ported) are not cloud solutions.
Does it enable broad accessibility and agility?
Is the system platform-dependent? Is it proprietary? Does it limit your access to specific network types or locations? Genuine cloud is platform independent, open and standards-based, and is only access-limited by customer-centric controls.
Does it work on-the-go or does the solution leverage virtual machines in some form?
If a network VPN connection or third-party components (other than a basic web browser) are necessary to enable remote access, it is not genuine cloud.
Where are the servers located?
If the software is installed on a single server, on- or off-site, rather than on many servers spread across different geographical regions, you still have a single point of failure and your business continuity will be low. True cloud solutions, on the other hand, are resilient by design.
Does it require you to buy software licenses?
Software licenses that you buy and then pay annual maintenance for are not cloud solutions. If it isn’t Software as a Service (SaaS), look elsewhere.
These are just some of the telltale signs of cloud washed systems. So, what qualities should a genuine cloud business management solution have?
- Insight from up-to-date, easily-accessible, and relevant information
- Increased up-time, yielding anytime access to your data
- Increased resilience in the event of a disaster (less chance of data loss)
- Pay as you go for only what you use
- Rapid implementation (quick to get up and running)
- Economies of scale (leverage enterprise-class technology at a fraction of the cost)
Businesses should be wary of “cloud washers”, who simply cannot provide the agility, multi-tenancy and cost benefits afforded by true cloud services. Xledger is genuine cloud with all of the inherent benefits. But, it is also much more, adding Best Practice as a Service (BPaaS) to elevate the performance of your business. Xledger is scalable, automated, insightful and resilient. Can you say that about your current business management system? If not, contact us today.