Companies looking to accelerate profits turn to cloud adoption as a way to stay on the leading edge of major global enterprise software at a cost they can easily absorb. Yet, according to Vice President and Gartner Fellow Daryl Plummer, while extremely valuable, cloud computing also represents one of “the most misunderstood… innovations in current IT and business strategies.”
Last year, Gartner surveyed businesses’ views on cloud infrastructure and services. The results, published in a 2017 report, show myths about cloud safety, implementation and cost persist, despite sustained efforts to combat them.
Since we know firsthand from our customers the incredible value cloud CRM can provide, we decided to tackle some of these myths head on. Here are what we see as the top cloud CRM myths — debunked:
Your vendor gets ownership of your customer information: We’ll attack this one out of the gate. Even if your vendor is in charge of your data backups and security – your ownership and privacy should be guaranteed.
Speaking from our own experience as a cloud CRM provider, we take customer privacy extremely seriously. In the fine print of every Maximizer CRM Live contract, we tell customers their data is their own – we cannot access it, we cannot use it and we certainly can’t sell it. We delete it 30 days after someone decides to leave us. (If we ever violate any of these promises, they can sue us – and win!)
The cloud is not secure: Security ranks among the most sticky cloud myths, and it’s not hard to see why.
Operating on sometimes razor thin margins, businesses – especially SMBs — can’t afford data breaches that might cause them lawsuits or lost customers. With cloud services being a relative new kid on the block, they’re a natural object of distrust.
It’s widely recognized, however, that cloud services from reputable vendors will afford greater protection than most SMBs can provide in-house.
For example, with our cloud service, CRM live, we go through every effort to ensure users peace of mind with redundant data centers in the UK and Canada. These are PCI compliant and subject to ISO9001 and OSP 27001 third party penetration testing.
As a rule of thumb, you can check your vendor’s data center “tier rating”. According to the Uptime Institute, responsible for creating the Tier standards embraced by over 1,000 data centers world-wide — Tier IV is the very best on offer and comes with incredible uptime guarantees. Short of something cataclysmic – like an extinction-event meteor strike or Yellowstone blowing up in a gigantic volcanic eruption (in which case, you’ve got bigger problems) – it is very unlikely your Tier IV data center will succumb to an unexpected service interruption, let alone lose your data.
Cloud is more expensive: We’ve already addressed this myth in detail in a previous post. To summarize, it’s true cloud costs more up front — you’re paying a monthly subscription after all. What companies sometimes fail to factor in are the total costs of ownership of their software over the long-haul: i.e., the costs of buying and maintaining servers, and the time involved in taking care of security and updates. These unexpected and less visible costs add up.
It’s our best-guess that you’ll save more when on a solution like CRM Live. But we can hardly claim to be impartial! Businesses need to perform their own TCO assessment when looking at their options.
You don’t need a cloud strategy when moving to the cloud: Most companies today drive towards cloud adoption but proceed incrementally and carefully, moving select processes based on what makes sense for them. You also need to be thoughtful when moving to cloud and avoid what Gartner calls “cloud washing”: i.e., impulsively moving processes to cloud on the assumption that “because it’s cloud, it’s better.” (Newsflash: it’s not.)
Having to think about a “cloud strategy” sounds intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. An experienced vendor should walk you through everything and ensure you make informed choices.
We recently converted one of our long-time Maximizer users Langara Fishing Adventures to our cloud service. For the last 18 years, Langara had used a highly customized version of our on-premise CRM to capture details crucial for managing their guest experiences. The company CFO, Scott Mehlenbacher, was pulling double duty, managing the company’s software and finances. Despite having just bought a new server, he wanted to move some processes to cloud to lighten his IT workload.
Scott moved his company to CRM Live last December – and it all went seamlessly. One of the insights from the process, which he happily shared with us, was that he felt CRM was naturally adapted to the cloud. “Like a giant rolodex,” he said, it was process light and thus consumed very little bandwidth, while it integrated very well with his other business apps.
The bottom line
One of the great thing about SaaS CRM is that it doesn’t tie you down like on-premise software used to. With fewer legacy investments to maintain, you are free to pick up your data and leave. That means we’ve every incentive to try and get you to stick around with outstanding service, advice and support.
Upgrading to the cloud can be unsettling, and we want every customer to get superb results. That’s why we’re putting together an Upgrade to Cloud CRM guidebook to put your mind at ease. It’ll package expert tips and pointers, distilled from our veteran IT team and upgrade success stories. So stay tuned!
In the interim, we’d love to hear more about what you think. Do you think there was another myth we should have covered? Were you satisfied with our answers? What has your cloud CRM experience been like? Drop us a line or comment on Twitter or Linkedin.