Cloud computing is now evolving like never before, with companies of all shapes and sizes adopting this new technology. Industry experts believe that this trend will only continue to grow and develop even further in the coming few years. While cloud computing is undoubtedly beneficial for mid-size to large companies, it is not without its downsides and risks, especially for smaller businesses. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, with a view to helping your business fully understand the concept of cloud computing.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
If used properly and to the extent necessary, working with data in the cloud can vastly benefit all types of businesses. Mentioned below are some of the advantages of this technology:
Why Cloud Computing might be Ideal for Small Businesses
- Cost Efficient
Cloud computing is probably the most cost efficient method to use, maintain and upgrade. Traditional desktop software costs companies a lot in terms of finance. Adding up the licensing fees for multiple users can prove to be very expensive for the establishment concerned. The cloud, on the other hand, is available at much cheaper rates and hence, can significantly lower the company’s IT expenses. Besides, there are many one-time-payment, pay-as-you-go and other scalable options available, which makes it very reasonable for the company in question.
- Almost Unlimited Storage
Storing information in the cloud gives you almost unlimited storage capacity. Hence, you no more need to worry about running out of storage space or increasing your current storage space availability.
- Backup and Recovery
Since all your data is stored in the cloud, backing it up and restoring the same is relatively much easier than storing the same on a physical device. Furthermore, most cloud service providers are usually competent enough to handle recovery of information. Hence, this makes the entire process of backup and recovery much simpler than other traditional methods of data storage.
- Easy Access to Information
Once you register yourself in the cloud, you can access the information from anywhere, where there is an Internet connection. This convenient feature lets you move beyond time zone and geographic location issues.
- Quick Deployment
Lastly and most importantly, cloud computing gives you the advantage of quick deployment. Once you opt for this method of functioning, your entire system can be fully functional in a matter of a few minutes. Of course, the amount of time taken here will depend on the exact kind of technology that you need for your business.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
In spite of its many benefits, as mentioned above, cloud computing also has its disadvantages. Businesses, especially smaller ones, need to be aware of these cons before going in for this technology.
The Risks Involved in Cloud Computing
- Technical Issues
Though it is true that information and data on the cloud can be accessed anytime and from anywhere at all, there are times when this system can have some serious dysfunction. You should be aware of the fact that this technology is always prone to outages and other technical issues. Even the best cloud service providers run into this kind of trouble, in spite of keeping up high standards of maintenance. Besides, you will need a very good Internet connection to be logged onto the server at all times. You will invariably be stuck in case of network and connectivity problems. If you have problems with your own internet connection, you could be cut off from the cloud, and all your data!
Also, you run the risk of any cloud provider deciding to suddenly change pricing, or even discontinue services which you may be using. This may leave you high and dry, without your data!
- Security in the Cloud
The other major issue while in the cloud is that of security issues. Before adopting this technology, you should know that you will be surrendering all your company’s sensitive information to a third-party cloud service provider. This could potentially put your company to great risk. Hence, you need to make absolutely sure that you choose the most reliable service provider, who will keep your information totally secure.
- Prone to Attack
Storing information in the cloud could make your company vulnerable to external hack attacks and threats. As you are well aware, nothing on the Internet is completely secure and hence, there is always the lurking possibility of stealth of sensitive data.
The more users and data you have on the cloud, the more it will cost you, especially if you are paying monthly per user or amount of data stored. In comparison with having data under your own control, this can be an area where the costs mount up over time.
- Who is holding your data?
Who is holding your data, what are they doing with it, and do you trust them? Are they reliable, or will you experience problems accessing your data? It is worth doing some research in to this area when looking for a cloud based provider.
Like everything else, cloud computing too has its pros and cons. While the technology can prove to be a great asset to your company, it could also cause harm if not understood and used properly.
If you would like to discuss the use of cloud computing in your business, please contact us!