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When it comes to cloud technology, the benefits are undeniable: globally accessible, scalable, cost-effective – one less headache for CIOs. Or is it?

Mention the cloud to any business and you’re likely to be hit with a barrage of questions. Is my data safe? Can I get to it when I need it? How reliable is the network and how much bandwidth is there? For many potential users, there remains a reluctance to take advantage of the computing power it represents. Why the hesitation? Here are just a few of the more persistent concerns preventing CIOs and employees from signing up.

“The cloud isn’t secure”

In fact, cloud technology can be far more secure than many current computing systems. There are usually multiple data centres involved and these are geographically diverse, with server and power back-up systems. Using a cloud, you’ve got an elastic back up and storage capacity, and you’re not relying on one hard drive backing up another hard drive – you generally have multiple drives in multiple data centres. Should one or more system fail, the data will still be safe.

The systems on which Vodafone cloud services are based are also certified to the internationally-recognised ISO 27001 IT Security standard. The processes used to build the service as well as the security of the data centres used have been independently vetted to ensure that they comply with the standard.

“Cloud technology won’t work with our systems and processes”

Some organisations may not be set up for cloud – highly secure government installations, for example, probably wouldn’t use a public cloud service. However, for most organisations, cloud technology can work with existing systems and make the most of them or an organisation can deploy a private cloud. At Vodafone, for example, both fixed and mobile services can be integrated with a cloud solution so that mobile devices can have both a fixed and a mobile number, and the user or organisation can choose which numbers are presented when the user makes a call.

These can also connect to a unified communications solution, enabling users to click to call from an email or instant message, answer an incoming call on their desktop and seamlessly integrate video calls and desktop sharing. This can free up and support employee agility and mobility, as users can work on any device from any location with absolute certainty.

Vodafone can deliver all of those services seamlessly as part of an integrated solution, using existing systems wherever possible, as they are delivered from Vodafone’s cloud under Vodafone’s control.

“The cloud costs too much”

Generally, cloud services tend to come in at a slightly lower cost than traditional comparable services when you evaluate the overall package, and they offer a flexibility that you wouldn’t get with fixed services.

For example, if your organisation needs ten additional users for a short period of time, you should be able to scale the service up to accommodate them and then scale the service back down later. Vodafone’s cloud services can be delivered on this kind of flexible “pay per user per month” basis. If you’re buying traditional licences for these services, you could be stuck in contracts for the duration of that term.

For anyone still hesitating, ask yourself this question: could your organisation afford to buy in this level of computing power – from secure, reliable access to back-ups across multiple drives and locations all integrated with mobility and remote access? Well managed cloud services can offer undeniable value for money, which is all any growing business can ask.

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