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Why you should embrace the cloud

Despite these myths, the cloud can offer your business some big advantages.

There’s a lot of talk about the pros and cons of ‘the cloud’ — so you may be sitting on the fence, unsure about making the move to a cloud platform. You might be worried about how it will affect security, costs and control of your IT environment. If you’re considering utilising the cloud, we look at four common myths to separate fact from fiction.

Myth #1: I’ll lose control of my data

Some business owners worry they’ll lose control of their data if it resides in the cloud and not on servers inside their facility. However, the cloud can be customized, and you can determine what level of control you want over your cloud environment, according to the cloud solutions specialists at Epic, a Bell MTS company.

Many organizations choose to use a combination of private and public clouds, which is referred to as a “hybrid” cloud. This can include any mix of local storage and public and private cloud storage. In the case of Epic, they build the cloud infrastructure and then hand you the keys. As a provider, they will manage the hardware for you, but you have the ability to still control your infrastructure.

Many organizations end up choosing a combination of on-premise technology with Epic’s private cloud or public clouds such as Microsoft’s Azure. With the Epic cloud console, you can manage both the private and public Azure cloud platforms, giving you more control and visibility all within a single pane of glass. However, for customers that don’t want that control, that’s where managed cloud services can play a role.

Myth #2: My data will not be secure

With data breaches and cyberattacks on the rise, many business owners worry their data will be at risk in the cloud. But in most cases, the opposite is true. Thanks to the fast pace of technological change, many small businesses — or small IT departments within larger businesses — simply can’t keep up with security patches and protocols.

Most industry analysts consider the cloud to be as secure, if not more so, than on-premise solutions since organizations often aren’t aware of how secure their infrastructure actually is, and most breaches aren’t detected for months. Typically, those using a cloud platform — with dedicated monitoring and analysis — experience fewer attacks than on-premise solutions. One study showed that on-premise security was attacked more than twice as often as cloud provider platforms.

Epic has a team of security specialists on staff, as well as information security policies to regularly audit system access to its cloud infrastructure. All data is stored in Canada, with no foreign operations. It also operates under the PIPEDA Act and is subject to audits by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The Epic cloud resides in an incredibly well-protected, Tier 3 design certified facility featuring seven layers of security. Most organizations don’t have 24/7 security on staff (if any), bullet-resistant glass at the front of their building or fingerprint scans for employee access. But thanks to the cloud, even the smallest organizations can gain the benefits of these enterprise-grade security features.

Myth #3: I’ll have to keep paying forever to use the cloud

While you pay for the cloud on a subscription basis and never ‘own’ it, the reality is that IT infrastructure quickly becomes outdated, and refreshing your hardware, software and systems is a major expense every three to five years.

Storing data in the cloud and using cloud-based applications can save both time and money, since you don’t have to spend time maintaining and updating equipment and programs. It also typically results in lower energy and utility costs. For small and mid-sized businesses, it’s more cost-effective than hiring IT staff.

With on-premise solutions, you’ll need to predict future IT requirements over the next three to five years — a difficult task, considering the fast pace of technological change. The cloud, however, is elastic and scalable, so you can scale resources up or down as needed. Over the long run, this could be a more cost-effective option.

With the pay-as-you-go pricing model, cloud access is designed so you’re only paying for the resources that you use. By paying month to month, you’re not committing to a huge financial impact without knowing your future needs. It gives you the flexibility to rent as much infrastructure as you need for as long as you need.

Myth #4: The cloud is too complex to manage internally

The cloud can often be considered convoluted and scary, which can sometimes cause people to shy away from it. It’s also common for people to think it takes a team of internal resources to manage the cloud, when in fact it can be just the opposite.

The Epic Unified Cloud, for example, allows customers to consolidate their infrastructure, applications and business processes, while having access to the latest technology managed by certified technical resources.

Epic is responsible for and manages its own Microsoft Hybrid Azure cloud platform, running on Tier 1 enterprise equipment that delivers high SLAs (100% on power and cooling, and 99.95% on infrastructure). Epic also has more than 250 certifications specializing in all areas of technology, making it one of the most heavily certified IT staff in Canada. As well, Bell MTS Data Centres offers a 24/7 help desk with local experts on hand for troubleshooting. This lets you focus on your core business instead of the multitude of tasks supporting your business IT.

To find out more about cloud solutions, visit

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Vawn Himmelsbach

Vawn Himmelsbach is a freelance writer and editor based in Toronto. She has covered technology and travel for 15 years, for media outlets such as, The Globe & Mail, Metro News, ITBusiness, PCworld Canada and Computerworld Canada. She also spent three years living abroad and working as an Asian correspondent.

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