One of the biggest misconceptions in the world of cloud computing is that all cloud solutions are, well, cloud. Just because a solution is utilising cloud technology, doesn’t mean it is truly cloud.
This is particularly problematic for business owners who are looking for a suitable cloud provider since they may not be aware of the drawbacks of using a solution that isn’t ‘true’ cloud.
The difference between hosted cloud and true cloud
The key difference between hosted cloud and true cloud solutions is that true cloud solutions were designed and built from the ground up to be delivered via the internet. This means they provide a very powerful and reliable service to the end user and are accessed via, and work seamlessly on, all browsers and devices.
With hosted cloud software, the applications have typically been built to be on-premise, but have been reworked so they can be delivered online. Whilst this might come under a loose definition of ‘cloud’, hosted solutions are often less flexible and trickier to upgrade than true cloud solutions. And if they are ‘single-tenancy’ solutions (i.e. memory and processing power is not being shared across multiple customers) then they may also be vulnerable to downtime and struggle to cope with periods of high load.
Did you know that some big names are actually offering hosted cloud, not true cloud solutions?
It may be surprising to learn that many of the big names in the software world are in fact offering hosted cloud solutions including Sage, SAP and MS Dynamics.
Sage in particular has been known for its hesitance to move away from on-premise solutions and fully embrace the cloud. Whilst they recently redesigned Sage 50 Accounts to include a new Sage Drive module to give users secure access to data via the ‘cloud’, it is actually a hosted module that incurs additional charges. And similarly, their Sage 200 Online offering is simply hosting Sage 200 on their customers’ behalf and delivering it over the internet.
Why does it matter?
There are some drawbacks to using a hosted cloud solution compared to one that’s true cloud. These include –
- Difficult to upgrade and scale – companies can suffer from ‘version-lock’ and be limited to a certain number of users
- Not as flexible or customisable
- If the hosted solution is ‘single tenancy’, then it may be vulnerable to downtime and struggle to cope with periods of high demand
Future-proof your business
When it comes to choosing a cloud solution for your business, the most future-proof option is true cloud. Cloud systems are important in delivering agility, which cannot be achieved simply by putting existing software into the cloud. True agility is company specific and needs the option to customise services to suit specific needs as and when required – it is only true cloud solutions that can deliver this level of flexibility.
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