Shortly after its inception, the cloud was the recipient of major dismissal by the critics as they termed it as a technology which would not last, a fad. However, the cloud soon proved the skeptics wrong and emerged as a revolutionary change of how IT is done nowadays.
The cloud was able to achieve the game changing status with its economical solutions and managing IT issues for the organizations completely, thus relieving them so they can focus on their core business.
However to use cloud services, the organizations are required to submit their private internal data to the service provider, which is something organizations can never get used due to security concerns. Thus, the cloud has a number of benefits to offer but on the flipside has issues that might concern you and your organization.
Here we shed light on what are the advantages of switching to the cloud, and what aren’t so.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
The cloud has an array of beneficial services that make it a package hard to ignore, which are useful to all users and all sized businesses. The cloud not only provides real time solution to problems, but it does them in economical and much faster way. The numbers of advantages with the cloud are plenty, and are here we shall discuss how these advantages affect the user end and the business end as well.
1. Economical, Cost Efficiency
The biggest advantage with the cloud is that the organizations no longer need to invest in the software and servers. With the cloud services, the organizations are relieved of managing and updating the software or any other management for that matter. The cloud service provider is responsible for all the services listed above, thus organizations do need to invest anything as the IT infrastructure is outsourced.
The cloud expenses to the organization are much less than internal IT methods, and thus help in dropping the overall expenses. With no startup investment and minimum expenses, the cloud is definitely a cost efficient model that delivers.
2. Maximum Uptime
The main advantage of many servers is that they give out the maximum uptime, thus making resources available to the user at his disposal at any moment of the day or night. The servers also work with backups, so in case of a technical failure, the alternative systems come to work and keeping the system online.
3. Ease of Access
With cloud servers located all across the globe, the user can be assured of the service wherever they might be. This enables an ease of access, and keeps in consideration of the users located in different time zones. The large numbers of servers also enable the users to share and modify documents with almost no hassles.
4. Data Backup
Data backup and recovery is simplified with the cloud, as information is now not stored in a physical device but resides on the cloud. Different backup/restore solutions are available from the service providers which the makes the process hassle free. In cases of a disaster, the recovery time with the cloud is low and requires no assistance from the organization as all is handled by the service provider.
5. Flexible Capabilities
Even though cloud basically offers storage service, but the applications can vary vastly. For example, Facebook and Gmail are both cloud based services but both are different entities with different applications. Thus, this proves that the cloud can adapt to the needs of the organizations.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
With the facts stated above, it is certain that the cloud is beneficial tool which has a lot to offer. But like all the things in the world, it falls short from being perfect and does exhibit some flaws and disadvantages with it. Here we address the most significant ones.
1. Data Security and Privacy
Privacy and security have always been the chief concern of organizations when it comes to the cloud, for to use the cloud services, organizations are required to submit over their private internal data to the service provider. It is then up to the service provider to make sure that the data remains confidential, secure and with them only. Thus the organization can be put into jeopardy if the service provider does not prove too reliable.
It is because of these risks, that organizations can never get used to sharing their internal data with someone other.
The other aspect of the concern is data privacy, as it is mandatory for the service provider to make sure that there is no unauthorized access to the data stored in the cloud. Data security and privacy should be the top priority of the service provider.
2. Vendor-Lock In
If an organization wishes to move to another service provider, the transfer process from one cloud to another is not very convenient and requires an investment of money, effort and time. This is referred to as “lock-in” and is the other major disadvantage of the cloud.
The shifting of large amounts of data from one vendor to another is a laborious process and is the reason why it is extremely important to choose the suitable vendor when switching to the cloud initially.
3. Limited Control
As the organization work on the third party software, virtual environment provided by the service provider, there is a limited control capability by the organization on the hardware and software. The organizations find the lack of having complete charge over the data as they run on the software which only allows them to do so much thus denying any chances of control and flexibility.
4. Increased Vulnerabilities
As explained above, the security and privacy concerns, additionally organizations have to worry about making sure that there sensitive data is not prone to breaches and vulnerabilities. This is because, the cloud works over the internet and nothing on the internet is ever so secure, thus leaving the cloud based solutions open to attacks from malicious users. The problem with vulnerability is that the data storage works like dominoes, if one falls then so will all the others in the cloud which is an unacceptable collateral damage.
Even with its flaws, the cloud has proven to be a revolutionary service, a force to be reckoned with. The number of beneficial services it offers is making sure that the cloud remains a growing force despite certain disadvantages.
So ultimately, it comes down to the organizations if they are willing to take the leap of faith and accept the change or remain traditional.
About the Author: Renuka Rana, Editor at QuickBooksHosting DotCom spends considerable part of her time in writing about technology including cloud hosting, Hosted PBX and QuickBooks hosting. When not writing, she loves to dig deeper into knowing the best and the latest technology in industry.
Photo credit: mansikka