I have used the term here as a topic as Cloud computing is coming up as the next big thing in the business and technological space, often described as the storing and accessing of data and programs over the Internet that provides shared processing of resources and data to computers and other devices on demand. It helps us save data on common server rather than on local drives facilitating easy access and retrieval.
However, it also has its share of disadvantages and advantages which provides a clear picture of this new technological boom:
Benefits Of Cloud Computing:
- Cost Saving in terms of lower computer costs which in turn implies not much spending on personal PC for hard disk or processing power up gradation. In addition to this, most software’s are free on cloud which helps on savings buying expensive software applications
- Increased Speed and processing since the computers on cloud computing system boosts faster as they have fewer programs and processes loaded into the memory
- Documents created on cloud are compatible across machines, thus saving the hassle of changing formats for various configurations
- Independence in terms of working from anywhere, anyplace and collaborating with multiple users across locations
- Safety, security and reliability of data without worrying about system crash or bugs spoiling it all
Drawbacks of Cloud Computing:
- Interruption or a lot of downtime might affect cloud services due to technical outages and your business processes getting temporarily suspended. Additionally, no access to internet connection, will prevent you from accessing the data at that moment
- Security: all the security standards and certifications that the cloud service providers use, data on cloud is still not without risks. The comfort in accessing and obtaining cloud services gives wrongdoers’ the ability to scan, classify and exploit gaps and weaknesses within a system, thus putting the data at risk. Hackers often try to break into the data of other users hosted and stored on the same server thus enhancing data vulnerability
- Data Migration: switching cloud service vendors is something that is yet to evolve thus making it difficult to migrate services from one vendor to another. Hosting and assimilating current cloud applications on another platform may result in interoperability and support
- Unpredictably Costs: While the cloud can substantially reduce staff and hardware costs, it might also end-up in being more costly for migrating to the cloud. It also involved costs in ensuring that the current systems support your business are aligned while moving to the cloud, could raise operating costs substantially
In the end…
While every product and service has its pros and cons, so does Cloud and hence its imperative to understand the exact needs and IT strategy in determining whether and what cloud is right for you. Here a few questions which will help you determine and help you take a decision to move to Cloud:
- What is the saving in terms of costs?
- How do I trust that the data will be secure?
- How do I test this to make sure I am getting my money’s worth?
- Is having additional in-house software better for backup purposes than Cloud?
If the answer to the above questions are positive then go for it, else do a little more research, understand and then take the plunge. It’s a great service and definitely one that would stay for years to come but how much does I need and will be able to make us if it is the question.