February 23, 2016

3 Myths About Cloud Services

Andreas Munch

Head of SaaS Operations, Tieto

My contention is that a lot of enterprises—maybe even the majority of them—can do very well using “best practices” software. And it will be one of the most economically sensible choices you’ll ever make.

Cloud solutions are still considered by many to be something novel and mystical. I would like to share three myths that I have encountered after several years of work on cloud services at Software Innovation. Hopefully, this can help to demystify certain notions I sense many organizations have; organizations that could benefit greatly from switching to cloud services. The quotes below are taken from correspondence with potential customers.

1. “My data is no longer as secure. We have our files located in a nice folder structure on our completely new server. Backup is continually performed onto a somewhat older server.”

I will leave the folder structure for another time. Let’s take a look at these servers instead. How confident are you really that these servers will be working when you get to work tomorrow? If you can answer Yes to all the points below, then you’re fairly secure.

  • Does your cooling system maintain a stable temperature of 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 degrees Fahrenheit)?
  • Has UPS been installed to protect the server’s most critical components against power failures, voltage spikes, etc.?
  • Are the servers housed in two entirely different locations?
  • Do you have resources who are experts in networking and server operations?

Unfortunately, I suspect that most, especially smaller public authorities and private enterprises, are either unable to answer in the affirmative, or they are unsure about all these questions. When purchasing cloud services, all these areas are included in a fixed price per user per month.

The largest providers of cloud solutions have invested untold amounts in security, infrastructure, and operations. Tieto is a good example. Currently, more than 150 large Nordic companies and organisations use Tieto's cloud services. Tieto has several hundred data centre customers and within the Nordic countries, the company has three data centres in Finland.

2. “Standard software doesn’t work for us.”

Are you entirely sure of that? Yes, it’s quite possible that your business is a very special kind of enterprise, but even very different organizations often have similar needs when it comes to information handling, case management, and records management.

Through joint work meetings, our consultant will map out processes and needs with you and, based on that, will suggest how you can customize routines and processes to get the greatest possible value out of the solution.

Lots of people forget that customizing also means upgrade costs. Standard products are less complex to install, so costs are significantly reduced. Customers of Software Innovation’s cloud solutions are all on the same version, without any customization. This means that we can upgrade all customers just days after we have launched new functionality. They are always the first to have the latest version.

3. “It all sounds good, but tell us about the hidden costs.”

When you choose to purchase a cloud solution, as with any other software, it’s important to figure out all the costs involved. Most providers of cloud services operate on the basis of one fixed price per user per month. When weighing the costs, it makes sense to compare them against the alternative, i.e. having the software installed locally. Here are some of the costs associated with local installations:

  • the aforementioned servers with their associated ongoing costs (such as installations, upgrades, maintenance)
  • operations personnel to operate the solution
  • support and maintenance agreements
  • major implementation project
  • upgrade projects

When you purchase SaaS products from Tieto, these costs are included in the monthly price per user. For bigger enterprises with sophisticated needs and processes, a local installation may be the right thing, but my contention is that a lot of enterprises—maybe even the majority of them—can do very well using “best practices” software. And it will be one of the most economically sensible choices you’ll ever make.

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For an easy way to manage your services in a multi-cloud environment, read more about how Tieto OneCloud can help.

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