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Pipol Focus

My cloud confession…

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hi, my name is Flemming and I am a nephophobic, understand that I am afraid of clouds, or rather in my case afraid of The Cloud that seemed too invasive for my control freak genes.

Maybe I had heard the anti-cloud arguments too many times, maybe I just did not understand it well enough, but when our VP of innovation told me about his plans to move everything on Azure (both infrastructure and applications) I reckon I had to struggle with the same 3 fears as everybody else typically has: The fear of losing control, losing data, and compromising security. After all, the files servers we had been using for years worked well, and had always been good enough! I thought I might not be able to work without connectivity, thought my work processes would be made longer and more complicated by having to log on to a portal. But most of all, I was worried about losing data. Anchored in my safe old habits I objected and pulled the security card: how could we just move our data to the cloud and rely on an external vendor to take care of it? Wasn’t it safer to keep our data close and under our control? But I realized that in reality close does not necessarily imply a higher level of safety. I suppose you will agree if I say that your money is safer at your bank than kept as cash hidden in a shoe box at your house? In reality it is the same principle here… Your data will be safe on the Cloud if you select a provider that understands how to get the security right, protect your data with backups, and implement reliable security. We worked with professionals. They make sure our data is safe and well taken care of and they have been great at supporting us in our journey to the Cloud. They helped us to figure out how to move to Azure, use the Microsoft data centers and what kind of investments and cost savings we could expect.

Cloud computing – the key benefits

After you have killed all the ghosts around moving to The Cloud, you will start realizing as I did, that the benefits by far outweigh the fears:

  • You can make substantial savings: Rather than purchasing more equipment and paying employees long hours to install it, your organization can share the cost by paying only for what you need – in our case the business case was impressive and the OPEX Savings amazing. Our first calculations showed savings of 30%, but the business case seems to be even better after we have started using it.
  • You can grow as much as you want: As a business grows, so does the server size, as needed. When you have moved to the Cloud, adding additional resources requires a simple phone call, or an email, or perhaps just a click of the mouse. Our company is currently undergoing many changes and we expect to grow significantly in the coming years. We now have scalable storage for files, applications and other types of data. I am glad we have such a flexible structure to support our business growth smoothly and with limited cost.
  • Updates are no longer your headache: Updates are taken care of in the cloud and your provider is performing all updates and maintenance.
  • Mobility and accessibility will transform the way you work: your employees can access data from anywhere they can establish an internet connection – and if they do not have connectivity, it will synchronize seamlessly when they get back online. Frankly, I did not think that I needed to access data from any other devices than my laptop… but I have now been able to have access from any device and it is awesome… would not go back to the way I worked before.

Have I managed to cure and overcome my fears? Well, I am today working in an environment 100% on Microsoft Azure and I am doing better than ever! Now I’m on my way to vacation and I can assess everything from wherever I go. I don’t have to. But I can. Wondering what the fear of working during the vacation is called…

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