As cloud service providers do battle for market share, ever better prices lure more businesses away from on-premise solutions.
But pockets of resistance remain.
Some businesses say handing over critical applications to cloud providers is just too risky. If they can’t directly control their own systems then forget about cloud, they say. Others fret about reliability and performance.
But are these cloud knock-offs still valid, when you consider the amount of skin communications heavyweights – names like Genesys, Avaya, Microsoft, and NICE – have got in the cloud game. From biometric access controls to isolation of applications and data, the many millions they invest in protection and control is beyond the grasp of most, if not all, businesses.
So let’s look more closely at the theoretical drawbacks of buying communications services from the cloud and why they’re less of a problem than detractors think.
Microsoft and co use security practices beyond the reach of most clients. What’s more, their cloud environments are locked down by default, whereas most IT managers must remember to secure the systems they run.
Service level agreements deliver control without the headache of running all the moving parts. Cloud services actually deliver a better form of control, because contract provisions invoke financial penalties the moment a cloud provider’s performance drops below agreed levels.
Cloud service providers operate micro-services architecture – a modular architectural style that protects larger applications from the failure of a single module, providing levels of reliability far superior to most on-premise solutions. And when a network problem cuts access to the cloud, most cloud providers continue to operate local survivable voice services.
Automated changes scare customers. Recognising the unease automation creates, some cloud providers allow customers to manage their own change programmes.
Customers worry that services offered by off-shore cloud providers are likely to suffer from latency issues. Geographic distance still impacts voice quality, but some providers address the problem, using locally-hosted gateways and edge devices to keep voice traffic in-country. When voice traffic is routed offshore, dedicated access services available on common platforms, such Azure and AWS, minimise the likely impacts of geographic distance.