The real difference between a native cloud and a fake cloud CMS is that a genuine cloud CMS is a true multi-tenant service, taking care of itself. There is no longer a need for a system administrator to install, run, update, monitor, create new instances, scale, and secure the CMS.
While some systems claim to be part of the cloud but still need to be installed and maintained, others are available on-demand without any additional work. Even if a vendor offers to provide such maintenance for you, beware. That type of work is time-consuming and error-prone. When you factor in basic human error, mistakes are merely a question of time. In a native cloud system all of this work is done by the system.
In the near future, the requirements for websites will increase dramatically.
More users. More content. More pages. More languages. More campaign management. More microsites. More landing pages, integration with CRM systems, marketing automation tools, and e-commerce software. More more.
Even if the IT department staff is qualified deep inside virtualization technology, it might be questionable if the needed resources are available due to on-going daily operations and other projects. Most IT departments suffer from a lack of resources. However, a common misunderstanding is that by installing a piece of software, a solution comes up that fixes all issues. Sometimes software only adds on to the problem.
A true cloud CMS runs on world-class data centers like Amazon Web Services and is distributed as a multi-tenant application over multiple physical locations called “availability zones”. Most commonly, true cloud CMS software also provides built-in content delivery networks (CDN) like CloudFront in order to further enhance content delivery performance. All data centers of a native cloud CMS are fully redundant, scalable, and monitored constantly 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Uptimes of 99.9% should be expected.
Finally, a native cloud CMS can ensure security and compliance much more effectively than a handcrafted security solution trying to protect a fake cloud CMS on some remote server. Aside from the redundant cloud architecture of a true cloud software, all security aspects are maintained by the vendor, such as firewall, encryption, and permission-based authentication.
Asking the IT department what they think about these questions might not lead to the right answers, because with the “real cloud” the IT loses their operational monopoly while the “fake cloud” keeps IT in the game. Therefore, it is understandable why many IT departments prefer to keep their systems, because they “remain in control”. From a high-level organizational view, a “fake cloud” does not make sense at all. The trend towards “web services” from the “real cloud” will become the standard anyway.