6 biggest cloud computing myths

1. It’s insecure.

People are afraid of losing control,” says Leandro Balbinot, CIO of Brazilian retailer Lojas Renner. But “just because your data is somewhere else, doesn’t mean it’s less—or more—secure,” says Accenture CIO Frank Modruson. Test, monitor and review. That’s the only way to mitigate risk in or out of the cloud.

2. It’s simple.

Vendors will always tell you it’s a turnkey implementation,” says Carmen Malangone, global director of information management for Coty. “But moving customized systems to the cloud takes time—eight months or more to standardize and test in the new environment.” And modify cloud systems with care. “Configuration can quickly become customization and each upgrade will be a major headache,” says Malangone.

3. CFOs love it.

Here’s the pitch: The cloud turns sunk capital expenditure (capex) into flexible operational expenditure (opex). But your company may not want that. “The assumption is that there’s an economic preference for opex over capex,” says Mark White, CTO of Deloitte Consulting’s technology practice. “But not every business wants opex; some want capex.” The years of friendly capex tax depreciation left on a data center may be most important.

The fact that it isn’t done much doesn’t mean that it can’t be done at all. Balbinot, for example, is running a billion dollar business’ core retail systems in the cloud.

Malangone was looking at a cloud-based single-sign-on tool, but with each additional application and user, the bill rose. “[The tool] was a great idea,” he says. “But you have to negotiate the right price based on your expected growth.”

4. Only the business benefits.

Most CIOs funnel cloud savings to the business. But there’s no law against reinvesting in IT. “I take some of my cost savings and put it into team building,” says David Riley, senior director of information systems for Synaptics. “We need to keep morale high.”

5. It can’t be used for core systems

The fact that it isn’t done much doesn’t mean that it can’t be done at all. Balbinot, for example, is running a billion dollar business’ core retail systems in the cloud.

6. It’s always cheaper.

Malangone was looking at a cloud-based single-sign-on tool, but with each additional application and user, the bill rose. “[The tool] was a great idea,” he says. “But you have to negotiate the right price based on your expected growth.”

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Stephanie Overby

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