Cloud Computing: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Drawbacks?
On the surface, the idea of cloud computing sounds complex. However, it seems that most people fail to realise that cloud computing is more than likely integrated into their lives daily, much to their oblivion.
Cloud computing can be split into three main categories: private, public and hybrid. A private cloud is a secure cloud based environment that only the specific client/organisation can operate and access, giving them greater control and privacy. A public cloud is the most recognisable (think Dropbox or Google Drive), it is controlled by a third party and is accessible over a public network. A hybrid cloud integrates functions from both public and private cloud models, within the same organisation. We’ll be looking at the pros and cons to see how beneficial cloud computing could be for your business.
By moving to the cloud, your business can increase its opportunities for more effective productivity amongst team members. Especially with private clouds, you have the ability to follow real time updates, customise access to files, folders, discussions, tasks and events, cloud computing allows your team to do this from any internet-providing location, not just in the office.
When it comes to cloud computing, there are a variety of ways to pay. Different companies offer different pay monthly/pay-as-you-go flexible subscription schemes, which are easy to maintain and update in terms of business scalability. If you pay slightly more for a private cloud, in return you will have greater control and privacy, and may have added features such as white labelling solutions.
You will have the assurance that your hosting provider is maintaining your infrastructure 24/7, so you’ll have more time to run your business and less time stressing by letting the computing software experts do the rest.
Easy access to information
With cloud computing, document control and remote working go hand in hand. As long as you’ve got internet available to you, your team members and clients can have necessary access to files and other materials regardless of their geographical location and time zones.
So it’s common sense that if you move your business on to the cloud, you’re making your business dependant on your internet connection. Despite the fact that we live in a world of super fast fibre optic broadband, there’s still no guarantee that you won’t experience spouts of slow internet or technical outages. And when your internet drops, so do your applications.
Prone to attack
Storing information in the cloud can make your business vulnerable to external hacking and threats as your business is online. Now, we’ve learnt that nothing on the internet can be 100% secure, so there will always be a risk of losing data. To reduce this risk, consider switching/choosing a private cloud, which has higher security and privacy features compared to public cloud solutions: e.g, your data is stored behind a firewall.
In an ideal world, your choice of cloud computing platform (or infrastructure) will be compatible with your existing tools, software and computer. Whilst private clouds may have a little more flexibility in terms of compatibility, there are often more restrictions when it comes to public cloud services.
There’s no denying that the world of cloud computing is continuing to grow: Goldman Sachs forecasts that the cloud infrastructure and platform market will grow at a 19.62% CAGR from 2015 to 2018, reaching $43B by 2018 (Source: Nasdaq). There is a cloud service out there for every business, it’s just a question of whether you’re ready to make the jump.