The Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing holds many promises for big and small businesses.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of adopting cloud computing.
Today, the internet is one of the biggest drivers of growth for most businesses. It allows them to advertise their services for a fraction of the price of TV ads, send emails, respond to customers, and much more. With the cloud, small or big companies are able to centralize data, which opens the doors for opportunity.
Cloud computing has become an essential part of most businesses. No matter the kind of business you have, a certain cloud type can work for you. There are public, private, and hybrid clouds today. However, although it has its pros, there are some cons as well. That is what I will be discussing in this post.
- Lower Costs for Businesses.
For a medium-sized or small business, the cloud can save a lot of money. It means that the company does not have to purchase any local servers that can eat away into the profitability of the business. Things such as maintenance can have a huge cost implication for any business. The cloud can save many dollars for such companies.
- Better Reliability.
With a cloud computing option, a dedicated group of experts handles all the maintenance. For a small company, that may not be affordable. The reason for this is that it can afford to handle may be one or two IT experts on its payroll. The result is that the performance of an in-house system can be lackluster. However, cloud-computing companies have the resources and personnel needed to ensure that the system has an uptime of at least 99%.
- Easier Management.
Cloud computing simplifies IT management within the organization. The small IT department that the company can afford to hire will only concentrate on managing the end user experience. Since most of the other work such as software maintenance is done off site, you are guaranteed of flawless management of your IT infrastructure at all times.
When your business is based on the cloud, it means you can access services from anywhere around the world. It is especially important for a company that is trying to spread its influence globally. That would not be possible for a company that has local servers at its physical location. Trying to connect to them from halfway around the world may prove quite challenging.
- Reduced Cost of software.
By using the cloud, a business is able to eliminate the high cost of purchasing the software. Some of the software needed to run the daily activities of a business can be quite costly. Additionally, the cost of upgrading to better versions of the software can be quite high if they have to be incurred by a single business. However, when a company uses the cloud, such costs are shared amongst the users. Thus, they only pay a fraction of what they would pay if all the software were bought in-house.
- Almost Unlimited Storage Space.
Without the cloud, you will have to buy the physical infrastructure that works best for your company. However, you never know when you may need to expand the business’s storage capacity. For instance, if the business experiences some unexpected good fortune, you do not have to worry about running out of IT capacity. The cloud allows you to scale your storage as your needs increase effortlessly.
- Environmentally friendly.
Since a business does not have to buy any physical servers, it reduces its energy consumption, which allows it to reduce its carbon footprint. For a company which wants to enhance environmental friendliness, the cloud might be the best solution for it.
Cons of Cloud Computing:
- It is Reliant on Internet Connectivity.
Running your business on the cloud is great as long as you have an internet connection. When your cloud-computing provider loses internet connectivity, the entire business grinds to a stop. Even the best types of cloud computing providers sometimes experience downtimes. During that time, no transactions can take place if your business is highly reliant on the cloud.
- You Will Have to Deal With Recurring costs.
Cloud computing has little initial capital investment. However, an in-house server may actually make sense over time. Although you will have to incur a huge, initial cost plus IT maintenance, cloud computing will also see you stuck with a recurring monthly cost. You will have to pay this amount every month or every year if you want access to our data. The choice will depend on these factors. Weigh the costs carefully to ensure the cloud will actually help you to save money.
- There are issues of Security.
The cloud is not for every business. Some data is too sensitive to be placed on a cloud. Companies that have stringent regulatory requirements may be opening themselves up to lawsuits by trusting the cloud. When you place the company’s data on a cloud, you trust a third party to keep it safe.
Such a third party may not feel obligated to provide you with the robust data security that you need for your special situation. When you use the cloud, you are subject to standard data protection measures that they offer all their clients. In such a case, it may be quite difficult for you to determine if third parties are accessing your data.
- Limited Control.
When a company stores data on the cloud, they have very limited control over it. A customer can only control and manage the front end of applications. The cloud service provider is responsible for managing all other backend activities such as firmware updates and serves shell access. Additionally, you never get to see the backend of the operation and what risks your data could be exposed to.
- Inflexible Contracts.
Most cloud providers have inflexible contracts. This can be a major challenge for a business, which is still growing and whose are still changing.
Should you decide to use the cloud, you will need to know that it has its pros and cons. Conduct enough research before you decide to settle on any option. It could help you to save a lot of money over time.