Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
More and more businesses are finding ways to streamline business operations through cloud computing. As a result, these businesses are moving their business functions from on-site servers to the Web.
Cloud computing is the use of internet-based services to support business processes. Before making the decision to move your business in to ‘the cloud‘, make sure you weigh the pros and cons of cloud computing.
Types of Cloud Computing
When trying to narrow in on the pros and cons of cloud computing, it’s likely to be more beneficial to first discuss the various types of cloud computing. In most cases, cloud computing can be broken down into three distinct categories.
Infrastructure-as-a-service – rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space and network equipment, the vendor provides these services and bills the client based on the amount of resources consumed.
Platform-as-a-service – the vendor provides and manages the operating system, database, and everything else needed to run certain platforms.
Software-as-a-service – instead of businesses purchasing a software license, vendors run the software application for you. The software is continually updated behind the scenes.
Pros and cons of cloud computing: The Pros
Cost reduction - Cloud computing reduces paperwork, lowers transaction costs, and minimizes the invest in hardware (and the resources to manage it). Moving your business to ‘the cloud’ also reduces the need for an IT staff.
It’s scalable - Like electricity and water, some cloud computing services allow businesses to only pay for what they use. And as your business grows, you can accommodate by adding more server space.
Levels the playing field - Cloud computing providers offers small and mid-size businesses access to more sophisticated technology at lower prices. Sharing IT resources with other companies reduces the cost of licensing software and buying servers.
Easier collaboration - Since services in the cloud can be accessed anytime from any computer, it’s easy to collaborate with employees in distant locations.
Pros and cons of cloud computing: The Cons
Availability - Will your cloud service go down unexpectedly, leaving you without important information for hours or more?
Data mobility and ownership - Once you decide to stop the cloud service, can you get all your data back? How can you be certain that the service provider will destroy your data once you’ve canceled the service?
Privacy - How much data are cloud companies collecting and how might that information be used?
It’s important that business owners do their homework before making the decision to move into ‘the cloud’. Do the research, weigh the pros and cons of cloud computing and decide what the best solution is for your business.
If you decide that your business should be in the cloud, be sure to take the time to layout your transition plan and determine how you will make progress. At the end of the day, moving to the cloud is a big decision that should not be taken lightly.
How do the pros and cons of cloud computing relate to your business?