Has technology ever reminded you a little of a soap opera? It’s on every day, it’s constantly evolving, and it can come packed with a lot of drama along the way. This last part is especially true when unexpected challenges emerge — or if you don’t have a clear understanding of the benefits and challenges that come with the right technology solutions for your business.

Cloud has had its fair share of time in the technology spotlight for good reason. It isn’t just another business model — it takes a leading role in driving strategic digital transformation initiatives and unlocking a lot of potential for business growth.

Research firm Gartner predicts the global public cloud services market will grow 17.3% in 2019 to total $206.2 billion, with demand for integrated IaaS and PaaS offerings driving “the next wave of cloud infrastructure adoption.”

Looking at cloud as part of your business strategy — rather than as a service delivery platform — means there are bigger benefits to reap than simply cutting costs. But there are still misconceptions about what cloud can (and cannot) do.

Here’s how to separate the hype from the true value of cloud — and save yourself from drama.

Cloud Myth #1: A cloud-first approach means everything is in the cloud

‘Cloud-first’ isn’t about moving your entire IT infrastructure to the cloud. Rather, cloud is the first consideration for digital transformation projects, providing benefits around scalability and functionality — but it’s not always going to be the right solution.

Cloud Myth #2: Most applications run better in the cloud

The reality is, some applications may be better suited to an on-premise environment. You might be using legacy code that’s too difficult to migrate, for example. You also need to consider regulatory and compliance restrictions based on your industry. It’s a much more likely scenario that you’ll run some applications in the cloud AND others on-premise.

Cloud Myth #3: Moving to the cloud is a plug-and-play process

Migrating your data to public, private or hybrid cloud isn’t as simple as uploading an existing solution with the push of a button. You’ll first need to figure out which applications are best suited to cloud, along with the issues you’ll need to address such as systems integration, security, and governance. Compliance requirements (such as PCI and SOC) could create additional complexity during the migration process.

Cloud Myth #4: Your IT department is all you need

Many IT leaders have a reasonable understanding of cloud — but that doesn’t mean they’re confident in which cloud platform is the right solution and why. There are complexities of managing multiple cloud platforms and if your internal IT team doesn’t have the bandwidth to properly architect the solution in a way that realizes the full benefits of cloud, you may be missing out. That’s why even IT departments find it beneficial to work with third-party service providers to architect the right solution.

Cloud Myth #5: For public or hyperscale cloud, there is limited customization required

One important cloud benefit is that the cloud provider supplies and maintains the physical infrastructure that holds your data, however, that doesn’t mean IT departments are off the hook. Hyperscale cloud, for example, promotes a model of “shared responsibility” where the cloud provider offers reports on infrastructure, but ultimately, the customer is responsible for the design and delivery requirements of their software.

Cloud Myth #6: Cloud is cheaper (or more expensive) than on-premise solutions

While the reality is that cost is only one consideration when it comes to cloud ROI, some organizations underestimate the migration process or get sticker-shock during a cloud transformation project. That’s why it’s important to have a clear business case for a cloud migration while understanding the benefits and ROI as well as the costs.

Even though some continue to debate the benefits and challenges of cloud, it is, in fact, a maturing technology that will be around well into the future. We’re now into our second decade of cloud computing and, according to Gartner, it is “a necessary catalyst for innovation” across organizations. By getting past the hype, you can avoid the drama that can come with unnecessary costs, delays and glitches.

Find out more about leveraging the right cloud solutions and partnerships that can help you meet your business goals. Download the eBook, ‘Cloud Environment Evolution’