Cloud computing is not an extremely new technology, but its use has been developing and increasing steadily in recent years, especially as internet access in many areas continues to increase in speed and reliability. It’s often heralded as an innovation that all businesses need to embrace in order to be successful and prepared for the future, but that isn’t necessarily always the case.
For many businesses, cloud solutions are incredibly powerful. But for others cloud computing might be more of a hassle than the magic bullet it is often touted as. It isn’t automatically the best choice for everyone.
Like all changes to a business’s operations, the switch to cloud computing needs to be carefully considered. The benefits might not outweigh the disadvantages for some businesses. Outlined below are the main benefits and disadvantages of cloud computing, along with some other factors to consider before you decide to make the switch.
Cloud services can be relatively affordable and may also help to limit or predict costs more effectively due to a reduction in capital expenses for expensive hardware. You can also take advantage of only purchasing what you absolutely need due to...
As your business needs change, your IT systems need to adapt effectively. Scalability is often vastly improved with cloud computing services, you can simply add or reduce resources on the fly. Have more employees coming onboard this month? Login to the service dashboard and add resources. Seasonal work coming to an end? Log back in and drop those resources back to their previous levels. No need to order large quantities of equipment in a pinch or watch it sit unused until the next rush. It’s extremely flexible and can evolve alongside your business.
Configuring an on-site system to allow secure and reliable remote access for employees can be quite an undertaking, especially if it was not accounted for during the initial setup of the system. With cloud computing, remote access of your data is built-in, allowing all team members to work with their files and resources from any location with ease.
Data losses can represent one of the most significant damages for a company. Creating and managing and on-site backup system, then making sure that data is sent reliably off-site can require a lot of equipment, time, and money. If your data is already in the cloud, replicating to other datacenters is much easier as the infrastructure between datacenters is much mor robust than at an individual business. You may also be able to take advantage of built-in backup systems for the service you are using, though you should take care not to assume is covers all your bases by default.
Storage prices are lower than any point in history, but this can have a negative effect as it becomes easier to allow data to endlessly accumulates. This can be worsened by the ability of software to collect even more data than ever before, eating through storage at a rapid pace that may not have been accurately modeled by studying previous usage. However, depending on the services you use, you may have nearly unlimited storage capacity available to you with the cloud. If your business deals with lots of data, that will relieve some stress.
Cloud computing depends on your Internet connection to function. Connectivity and bandwidth issues will slow productivity, and these issues are harder to solve with remote workers. When each of your users has their own internet connection, posibly in rural areas with lower speeds, and they're fighting over bandwidth while the kids stream movies, it can be a struggle.
Sooner or later, there will be a problem with your connection, and that means downtime for your business. This can be extremely damaging, depending on your circumstance. If you have your critical systems in the cloud it is always recommended to have multiple ISP connections over different mediums (DSL, coax, fiber, 4G, etc.) to ensure your business isn't subject to a single point of failure that leaves your employees sitting around waiting for it the system to come back online.
When you use cloud solutions, you are trusting your data to a third party and moving your sensitive information online, which makes your business a target. It also does not automatically relieve you of your duty to ensure your data is being protected properly. You’ll want to make sure that your cloud provider is reputable, has solid cybersecurity measures in place, and that you've completed any other additional planning that may be necessary.
Cloud computing boasts significant advantages and disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration when you are choosing whether to switch to it or not. Undoubtedly, this is not the right choice for all businesses, but there are some factors that weigh more heavily than others.
If your business is going remote, then you are likely to need a tailored cloud computing service for your company. Your employees will need to access documents and files from several locations across the world.
Cloud computing can be flexible and scalable enough to allow for remote access for multiple users. Additionally, streamlining productivity and communication when your teams are remote can be challenging without a cloud computing system in place.
Smaller businesses that operate locally might not need an extensive cloud system to be effective. If you are a smaller organization or you are single-handedly running your business, paying for the wrong cloud computing system might weigh on your company budget instead of bringing a good return on investment.
If you’re considering a cloud computing system for your business, it’s a good idea to consult with an IT professional. This will ensure that you’re setting up the best cloud solutions for your business. Investing in the right tech tools will help your business to grow and operate effectively. Cloud computing is just one such tool.