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Control: Friend or Foe?

Are you really in control?

The other day we were discussing the trends we are seeing with cloud technology. We were talking about adoption rates and the overall movement to the cloud. One team member was expressing his surprise for how, although there is indeed an exponentially increasing movement to the cloud, many companies are still reluctant to move fully away from on-premise servers. Our founder, Mitch, had just gotten back from a conference where he heard a really useful metaphor for exactly this scenario. He enlightened us, and I thought it was worth sharing.

A useful metaphor: Transportation

Cloud adoption, or at least these instances of reluctance, can be understood by comparing it to transportation. Driving a car is easily more dangerous than flying in a commercial plane. Yet, overall, people are still far more afraid of flying than driving. Why?

A prevalent tendency: Control seeking

People are obsessed with control.

Everyone wants the remote when watching TV. People are less motivated and less persistent when they don’t feel in control. Despite the statistics, most people fear flying more than driving. And, despite the numerous benefits of cloud based technologies, many businesses are still reluctant to relinquish control of their data and turn it over to someone else, even if those people have the skills and resources to do the job best.

The fact of the matter is, we are hardwired to seek control.

We have to fight this tendency, this obsession with control. After all, true control would be to act systematically, logically, and unemotionally, would it not?

Thinking logically

There are different types of control, and different ways to look at off-premise storage.

On one hand, yes--your data is being stored somewhere else. If something goes wrong, you probably won’t be able to fix it yourself; you’ll simply have to wait. This idea is terrifying to a control-freak, and that is understandable. But look at the facts.

Today’s leading cloud providers offer 99.9% uptime, quite often with no maintenance windows. The chances of your data being inaccessible are slim, and the best experts in the world are on standby to resolve issues as they arise. And, once resolved, you’re back up and running--that may not be the case when hosting on-premise. Break-ins, fires, floods, power outages and most often human error--all are serious threats to your servers that may permanently render your data useless. Just because something is physically close to you does not mean it is well-controlled or secure.

Control through features

Although the public cloud strips you of your proximity to your servers, it provides incomparable control by the way of features and functions:

This is true control. It’s true: you aren’t flying the plane. But with the cloud, not only are your chances of a successful trip much higher, you are able to go to new places at speeds that were previously impossible.

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Originally published on May 16, 2016

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