Many SMEs may still be wary of embracing cloud technology. After all, does it represent a bright, agile new future or is it fraught with risk? Do the advantages of greater flexibility and near-unlimited capacity outweigh the potential pitfalls? We’ve come across many myths and misconceptions around cloud hosting in our time, which could make even the most forward-thinking SME think twice before adopting a cloud-based solution.
However, let’s try to dispel some of those most common and long-held concerns, and uncover why the cloud really does represent the best hosting solution for many SMEs.
Cloud solutions are less secure
While a certain wariness around data security is understandable (since storing data offsite might suggest greater exposure to external threats), data stored in the cloud is automatically encrypted and continually monitored to protect against emerging threats. In fact, IBM found that organizations further along in their cloud modernization strategies contained a security breach 77 days faster on average.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that cloud hosting offers a 24/7 guarantee of unbreachable security, but cloud-based solutions such as Cloudways typically come replete with a suite of robust security tools and configurations, including firewalls, SSL certificates and end-to-end data encryption. This is particularly beneficial for an SME with limited IT resources and therefore insufficient time to dedicate to cybersecurity.
Cloud solutions are too expensive
With many emerging technologies, there’s an assumption that SMEs simply won’t be able to absorb the cost of implementation and maintenance. And while cloud hosting isn’t cheap per se, it tends to represent better value for money than a VPS or dedicated hosting solution. With cloud hosting, you only pay for the resources you actually use, so while the costs are naturally variable, it often amounts to a more affordable solution for smaller businesses.
Moreover, SMEs will find the most significant cost savings come in the long term. One of the principal advantages of a cloud-based model is that it supports the ability to scale a business rapidly, with minimal effort or downtime; as the business grows and website traffic accelerates, the hosting solution grows with it, ensuring bandwidth and RAM are sufficient to cope with the increased load. Using a dedicated server, this process would be lengthy and very costly; but with cloud hosting, scaling won’t prove financially prohibitive.
Cloud solutions mean surrendering control
Reluctance among SMEs to transition to a cloud environment might stem from a misplaced theory that it means giving up control of data to a third party. In truth, the only real change is where your data is processed and stored; how much control an SME chooses to maintain or surrender is generally up to them, as most cloud providers will offer a range of customizable packages tailored to the business’s needs.
There’s also an argument that surrendering more control is actually a good thing since it frees up teams to use their hours more productively. You can still maintain 100% control of your projects and your data, while a cloud hosting partner can oversee more burdensome aspects like online security or website speeds. That’s going to be particularly advantageous to an SME where resources can be limited and time can be precious.
Cloud solutions require in-house experts
A common concern about moving from more traditional hosting to a cloud solution is that SMEs don’t have the required in-house expertise when it comes to this type of technology. It’s a very different model, after all, so presumably, it would require extensive training or recruitment of a team of cloud experts to ensure the necessary onsite know-how?
The answer is no since a managed cloud hosting solution like Cloudways will often act as an extended team, meaning you’ve got 24/7 support and access to the necessary expertise at any hour. And since your cloud hosting provider is tasked with factors like ensuring 100% uptime and keeping malicious traffic at bay, this means there’s no requirement for in-house specialists — SMEs can focus their time and resources elsewhere.
Moving to a cloud solution will be too disruptive
It’s likely that many SMEs still on the fence about cloud technology are concerned about potential disruption to their businesses as a result of migrating to a cloud solution. Won’t it place a huge burden on resources, require an organizational restructuring and lead to significant downtime for websites and applications?
Well, it could, but fortunately, most cloud hosting providers will manage the otherwise stressful and disruptive process of migrating infrastructure to the cloud. Of course, ample pre-planning should go into assessing the needs of your business before choosing the right solution, but the migration itself shouldn’t cause undue hassle. For businesses running their website(s) on WordPress, migrating to a cloud solution needn’t be disruptive, especially with Cloudways’ dedicated WordPress Migration Plugin.
In conclusion, while it’s understandable that a business with lesser resources might approach cloud hosting with trepidation, many of the concerns that may be holding them back are often misconstrued. Cloud hosting won’t be the ideal solution for every SME, but migration to a cloud solution will come with a multitude of cost- and time-saving benefits.