Cloud computing has become synonymous with internet and backup. The ability to store, manage and process data on the internet while keeping your hard drives free is very appealing and the ensuing benefits have helped businesses save thousands of dollars.
Dropbox, Microsoft one and Google Drive are few of the popular cloud providers often used by individuals and businesses alike.
Though cloud computing has revolutionized the internet it has a few drawbacks along with abundant advantages. We have tried to list both the pros and cons to help you decide what to look for and expect from cloud computing and if it is beneficial for your business.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
The main purpose of any business is to make profits and keep overheads as low as possible; the size and type of business don’t matter. When you opt for cloud computing your costs for in house servers and storage reduce significantly. You also save on the power, air conditioning, administration and other maintenance related costs. You only pay for what you use and can always disassociate when there is no need; as a result, your capital investment is negligible when compared with in house servers. That is not all, today cloud computing is very affordable and any business or individual can opt for it.
2. Recovery of data
Several businesses were doomed because of the lack of efficient and reliable backup and recovery system in place; often continuity plans stored in the local servers are lost when disaster strikes leaving the company high and dry. But once you opt for cloud computing this problem is resolved; first and foremost it is safer to transfer all your data to servers in remote areas away from your regional disturbances and secondly it is faster to retrieve and recover data from a cloud practically from anywhere. Thus you save time, money and your business.
The biggest beneficiaries of cloud computing are small businesses which can now compete with bigger players. Cloud computing gives you access to cutting edge technology wherein you can deliver as fast as anyone else on the market. It also leads to better collaboration and real time updates between your employees and team members. Furthermore, it offers the flexibility of working from virtually anywhere, all you need is an internet connection; this leads to an increase in productivity. As a result, smaller players can focus on business development and goals and not worry about the technical aspects of their business.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
1. Outages and downtime
Everybody wants to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing which leads to severe strain on the servers of the cloud service providers. Often this leads to technical outages wherein you will not be able to access your applications, servers or data. Furthermore, cloud computing is dependent on the internet, so when your provider is offline you can’t access anything. This can be harmful to your business and lead to losses.
2. Security is an issue
All the reputed cloud service providers adhere to strict security standards and industry certifications when storing your data. When you store data on the cloud, your service provider has access to it; and other tenants using the same server can try to hack into your database. This is a challenge the cloud computing world is still trying to find a solution for. It is better to keep confidential data close by then in any remote server.
3. Vendor lock-in
All cloud computing is vendor dependent and if any vendor decides to shut down your account or lock it using some propriety hardware or software you will be at the vendor’s mercy. Often it is difficult to shift between vendors because of the incompatibility of the operating systems and other support features and applications. Therefore, you have to ensure that your vendor lets you retain ownership of your data.
4. Limited Control
Despite storing your data on the cloud you are often not given the control on updating and firmware management and any other backend infrastructure. This limited control may not be conducive to your type of business.
- Paid customer service
Customer service is still not the best in the market but those who can afford and are willing to pay a hefty price can access good quality and quick response from the technical team.
It is for you to judge whether to let the drawbacks hold you back or let the benefits guide you to developing your business and better savings.