There are many pros and cons of cloud computing, so you can make a knowledgeable decision about it. Learn more information about cloud computing here.
Cloud computing services and infrastructure are predicted to surpass the $200 billion mark by the end of the year. These expenditures are 20 percent higher than last year’s spending. Companies both big and small are expected to spend more than $300 billion in the next three years.
You might be somewhat familiar with this technology, but you’ve heard that it isn’t for everyone. Check out this handy guide designed to outline the pros and cons of cloud computing answer your questions on why move to the cloud.
Cloud Computing Defined
Cloud computing refers to warehousing and retrieving data from the internet instead of your computer hard drive. Cloud data is stored in virtual servers supported by third-party service providers. Some current examples of virtual servers include Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure network.
Cloud computing lets you use an application from the internet as well. Cloud users won’t have to download the software onto their personal devices. They can retrieve these applications with an electronic device that connects to the internet.
Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
As with most digital platforms, there will be pros and cons that every business owner should consider when deciding if cloud services are a good match for their IT infrastructure. Here’s a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of these services.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Here are a few benefits of cloud computing and how it can benefit your business:
Cloud computing is reasonably inexpensive. When you use cloud computing, your business only pays for the platforms they’ll need or use. You won’t have to pay for features that you don’t need because they’re apart of your package deal. Companies don’t have to pay extra costs software applications they need if those applications are already there.
- Flexible and Scalable
Cloud computing provides a flexible environment where your team can work while they’re in or out of the office. Telecommuting or traveling employees can retrieve information from any smartphone or laptop as long as those devices have internet connectivity.
Cloud computing also fosters employee collaboration. When data is placed in one central area all of your workers can access it when they want from any location.
Scalability means how well an organization can grow and manage increases in its workload. Managing increases in workload involves adding additional team members to meet the new demands.
For some businesses, bringing on more employees means adding more workstations or boosting the existing network storage space to serve the new staff.
With a cloud-based business, you can add more users to your current cloud service agreement. Cloud service vendors provide Internet Protocol (IP) address management services for new devices connected to your network. An IP address allows a device to communicate with all of your other devices over the internet.
- Automatic Software Updates
Another advantage of cloud computing is that a cloud application will be automatically updated by the service provider. They monitor software as well as security updates so the client doesn’t have to. This means companies have more time to focus on what’s most important – growing the business!
- Friendly on the Environment
Cloud computing uses 30 to 90% less energy than regular onsite server equipment uses. Less equipment means less building space and cooling requirements are needed.
Cloud computing security can deliver optimal protection to your operations. When employees lose their mobile device or laptop, your first concern is for the confidential data housed on that employee’s particular device.
If your data is stored in the cloud, only workers with their unique username and password can retrieve files. You can also remotely remove files from these devices so that they don’t land n the wrong hands.
Cloud computing security also includes routine backups that protect against cyber threats. This level of security is helpful to those businesses that don’t have the expertise to develop their own data backup system.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
As with all things, cloud computing also comes with its challenges. Here’s just a few of them:
- Incompatible Vendor Capabilities or “Lock-in”
Migrating between cloud service providers can be difficult because of their different platform requirements. Even though cloud service vendors will promise that they will allow you to migrate to another provider, the process is always complicated.
Customers tend to face incompatible configurations and differing levels of support. Gaps in support also expose data to security threats. As a result, most customers decide not to change vendors and remain “locked-in” with their current provider.
- Company-Wide Downtime
Since cloud services are only available on the internet, any disturbance in connectivity will shut down a company’s systems. Disturbances can include power outages, low-speed connectivity or maintenance at the data center itself.
Some cloud computing companies will take precautions to avert a service outage. However, no one is completely immune. If the cloud can’t be accessed, a business experiences company-wide “downtime.”
Another inhibitor to low-speed connectivity is bandwidth limitation. Bandwidth is the rate at which your data is transferred between the cloud to your computers within a certain time frame. Bandwidth is measured in either Gigabytes (GB) or Megabytes (MB.)
If your company exceeds your bandwidth allowance, you could see a hefty fine. If you do decide to go with a cloud provider, see if they offer unlimited bandwidth capabilities. One new IT advancement that is hoping to reduce bandwidth usage is edge computing.
Edge computing means processing data with a local server or computer rather than transmitting to a centralized cloud center. Edge computing uses web applications through smartphones or laptops to bring computing to the data source itself.
Companies should compare the benefits of cloud and edge computing to see if they can minimize their long-distance communication needs between server and client.
If you’re considering using cloud computing for your company, ask yourself these questions.
- “Which type of cloud services do we need?
- “Am I expecting to bring on more staff in the future that would need to be added to an existing cloud service agreement?”
- Do I have sufficient knowledge to create my own data backup system?”
The answers to these questions will determine your next steps. You can also check our website for more on the pros and cons of cloud computing. Do your homework now so you can make an informed decision on how to take your company to that next exciting level.