1. My data is less secure
When using any cloud system, your business data and any data you hold of your customers will be physically stored outside of your office location(s) and servers. Many businesses don’t like the idea of housing their data externally as they feel it is less secure – however the reality of the situation is quite different. If you are a small business, chances are that you won’t be able to afford enterprise standard firewalls and security systems to keep this data truly safe and secure. Salesforce take security seriously and invest substantial sums in order to ensure that the data they hold on your behalf is not compromised in any way. For more information read the salesforce.com security statement.
2. I won’t have full ownership of my data
All of the data stored in salesforce is owned by you, and you have complete access and ownership of it. You can export and download all of the data in zip file format as required or alternatively larger organisations opt to synchronise the salesforce data real-time with an on-premise database such as Microsoft SQL Server using the salesforce API. Many other Cloud systems adopt the same approach however it’s always worth checking before entering into any agreement with other solution providers.
3. My system won’t perform as well in the Cloud
Not true. Because most cloud applications use a standard web browser for the user interface, they also require a reliable internet connection. A standard DSL connection is suitable for most applications, the quicker the better. If you’re still using dial-up or have frequent problems with connection speed then perhaps the Cloud isn’t for you (if you fall into this category get in touch as we may be able to help). One of the benefits of the cloud is that you have huge processing power that you would not ordinarily get with on-premise solutions, so running reports against huge data sets is no problem.
4. I’ll be caught by Vendor ‘lock in’
This is true only to the same extent of on-premise, traditional software. With salesforce you can download all of your data for backup purposes or you can synchronise each record depending on requirements (see point 2) however you cannot install the salesforce user interface externally, but that would apply to SAP or most other solutions. There would be nothing to stop businesses building their own basic UI for redundancy purposes.
5. My business is too small for the Cloud
The Cloud is possibly one of the biggest opportunities for small businesses today, because you have the opportunity to get ahead by using the same systems as some of the largest organisations in the world! There are some limitations to the standard editions of salesforce however if you get to the point where you feel your business needs the additional functionality there would be nothing to stop you upgrading.
6. My business is too big for the Cloud
Some of the largest businesses in the world use salesforce today, and there is nothing to stop large businesses from using salesforce.com. Salesforce provides the functionality and flexibility (Apex & Visualforce) to take the system to any level as desired – you can go with the standard ‘out-of-the-box’ functionality or build in your own complex business logic as you see fit.
7. Everything on the Internet / Web is Cloud
Not so. For an online service to qualify as ‘Cloud’ it has to support four principles which are Elasticity, Pay-per-use, Self-Service and Programmability. Salesforce is a Cloud Service because it supports all of these tenets. Just because a web application provides an API doesn’t automatically make it a Cloud Service.
8. Cloud is Cheaper than On-premise
It is wrong to assume that all cloud solutions are cheaper than on-premise solutions. We believe that most businesses, especially SME’s can save substantial sums however there isn’t a set rule. It’s important to remember that cloud solutions are typically based on a subscription so there are ongoing costs but this is often countered by the additional functionality delivered without having to upgrade anything.
9. Cloud = Virtualisation
Not true! The Cloud and Virtualisation are separate things, the confusion comes into play because many Cloud systems use virtualisation in some form to deliver their service. A traditional software application installed onto a virtual server, hosted in a data centre would be considered to be ‘False Cloud’.
10. The Cloud has more downtime
Wrong. Salesforce have always been open about the availability of their servers and have a portion of their website dedicated to this – you can see real-time and historical availability of salesforce.com by going to http://trust.salesforce.com. The availability of other Cloud solutions is typically higher than that of on-premise solutions.