While the IT industry is beginning to see a slow but steady drift towards cloud computing, many organizations are still debating on the pros and cons of cloud services.
While some are initially concerned about adopting the technology, some already have the technology and some others do not have the flexibility to move from one provider to the other. And, some are skeptical over security.
So, what is cloud computing all about?
Cloud computing is a method for delivering information technology (IT) services in which resources are retrieved from the Internet through web-based tools and applications, as opposed to a direct connection to a server.
In simpler terms networking and storage is taken off your physical work location and made available in the cloud.
Some cloud service providers include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Salesforce app. Now that we know what cloud computing is, let us discuss the negatives and positives that the service has to offer.
- Security – When all your data and networks is stored and run in the cloud, it is difficult to constantly oversee its safety and functioning. And with data-hackers always on the lookout for loose ends, it becomes important to know that all your data is secured by your cloud provider. The vulnerable nature of the cloud makes users skeptical of its adoption.
- Costs Incurred – The Cloud can be a costly affair and when it’s about running your day-to-day affairs out there, then you would have no choice but to keep the big bucks coming in, to maintain your virtual presence. Furthermore, incurring a cost of owning a cloud service is different from the cost for customizing the service to suit your business needs and when enough capital has been put into the former, the next thing is making your data available to the public. This can be a problem, especially when the project or partnership with your clients is for a short term.
- Inflexible Nature – Migration can become difficult for an entrepreneur who would like to move from provider to provider. Due to budget constraints and/ or the fear of the other provider’s ability to manage your infrastructure online, you may have to think twice before adopting a cloud platform.
- Cloud Inactivity – Your IT infrastructure must be in place to keep your business smoothly running. Some businesses can survive a temporary downtime, but some can’t even afford an hour’s negligence. In an event of a natural disaster or malfunction, cloud servers can be the alternative to turn to, but if your service provider fails to be available at the occasion, then it may cost you many precious hours of active business and reputation losses.
- Two-Way Security – The cloud can be open to risks from hackers and various other attacks. But many cloud providers are taking security seriously and are upgrading their services to higher their guard against such threats. Also, though users fear security out there in the platform, the truth is most thefts happen internally by employees. So, it becomes essential for you to activate security measures on your behalf.
- Cost Effectiveness – While it is true that maintaining your business in the cloud can be expensive, cloud providers offer customers cost scalable options like one-time-payment and pay-as-you-go among others. This allows you to choose to pay for the services you use or as per your budget constraints.
- Flexibility – This may not address the issue of moving from one provider to another, it certainly talks about the scalable nature of the cloud. The scalability of the cloud allows users to tailor their cloud platform as per their needs. In case you require extra bandwidth, a cloud-based service can do it almost instantly, without having to undergo the complexities like physical IT infrastructure. This can majorly contribute to the overall progress of your business.
- Backup and Recovery – With the advent of solutions like cloud disaster recovery, many organizations can recover from a downtime in a matter of a few hours or less. Also, with improved customer service, cloud providers are ever present to cater to the needs of their customers, making it easy to deal with downtime.
Every technology ever developed has its own set of pros and cons and so is the case with cloud computing but the world is still quite dependent on IT for its growing business needs.