We are not afraid of the cloud!

Where our data are stored more safe?

More and more companies realize that they are better off if instead of maintaining their own IT infrastructure they retain professionals and move to the cloud.Many others are still concerned about data security,  nevertheless, it also took time to get used to moving to the financial “cloud” of bank cards.

We are not afraid of the cloud!Let us imagine that there is no wired power supply and all households and companies use their own miniature power plants to generate electricity. The power plant costs a lot and it has to be operated by experts. Power plant technology develops at a pace that one has to make new investments before the previous one returns. Then all of the sudden wired electricity is introduced. Electricity is generated in remote, huge power plants by professionals and under very strict security regulations. Households are supplied through wires and they only have to pay a monthly fee.


Cloud revolution

This is how we may imagine recent year’s cloud revolution in IT. All companies use IT, however, these days it is not necessary to spend a fortune on IT investments. It is not necessary to operate own servers, to provide air-conditioning in server rooms, to purchase expensive software to be installed in the employees computers and to employ one’s own full-time IT staff. All these burdens are taken off by cloud operators from the shoulders of companies. Companies may run the necessary applications from their own data centers where the uninterrupted operation and the security of the stored data are also taken care of - in return of a calculable monthly fee.

T-Systems Hungary Plc. is one of Hungary's biggest cloud service providers. In the autumn of 2014 the company made a public survey with the involvement of almost 400 medium-sized companies on their perception of cloud services.   The survey showed that the most attractive feature of the cloud service is that companies may create a modern and always updated IT environment in the cloud without any investment. This was the opinion of 40% of the surveyed companies.


Always updated

But what does it mean in practice? - we asked Géza Ragoncsa, T-Systems Hungary’s Chief Officer responsible for info-communication solutions. “Let us take a startup company as an example” - he answered. “Today even small and simple companies need an IT environment. They have employees who need computers with an operating system, email program and special applications (for example accountant firms need accounting programs). If the company has 20 employees the software licenses have to be purchased for 20 computers. This is a significant investment for startup company. If these services are used to from the cloud it is enough to purchase the laptops. The operating system, the email and the accounting programs are not owned by the company, instead, they pay a monthly fee for their use. The employees use the same programs as before the only difference is that the software is not run in their own computer but within the cloud and they access it through the internet.” Géza Ragoncsa acknowledges: “There is a turning point after which the monthly fee is higher than the original investment would have been.

However, information technology develops at the pace that companies generally purchase new applications before this turning point. A good example is Microsoft Office: when a new version is released most companies replace the old version with the new one. Cloud service providers, however, guarantee that the client always the runs the latest available version so even smallest companies may keep the pace of the latest developments without any investment. On top of this the solution is more safe because if a company decides after three months of operation that they do not want to use the application any longer or they want to close the company then they simply discontinue the payment of the monthly fee. If they purchase the application the investment will never return” - points out the Chief Officer.


A matter of trust

The question may arise: if this is so attractive why haven't all companies moved to the cloud?
Based on the T-Systems Hungary survey two-third of the companies are concerned whether the external service provider treats their data in confidence and the same ratio is afraid of relying on an external party. Géza Ragoncsa confirms - “I am convinced that we have satisfactory answers to any reservations held about cloud services. “Many companies are averse to storing their data at the other end of the world, however, the data are more safe in a professional data center than in the server park of a small company” - he added. “There is a robust infrastructure behind the services - from power supply through air-conditioning to regular security saves. Major service providers store saved data at physically very remote places thus - in an extreme situation - even if the data center is destroyed there is always a spare copy in another center. A small company would probably ensure a lower level of security with its own IT staff.” Géza Ragoncsa believes that all concerns will fade over time. “When the first bank cards were issued we were concerned that there is no cash in our pockets” - as he put forward a parallelism. “The bank card was virtual cash and now the same happens to data. As the brave start to use the cloud and there is more and more evidence that this is not a problem only an emotional issue - then we will overcome these emotional barriers.


Source: Heti Válasz (Zoltán Laky)


CLOUD: PERCEPTION OF HUNGARIAN COMPANIES

ADVANTAGES:
  Higher reliability and availability of applications
  Lower investment costs
  Servers are stored in high security data centers
  The service is accessible from anywhere, i.e. from various sites or even from home
CONCERNS:

  Dependency on an external service provider
  Confidentiality If there is no Internet service there is no cloud service either
   They are satisfied with the current non-cloud services

Source: T-Systems Hungary survey of 400 Hungarian companies.

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