Using ‘the Cloud’ is a phrase you’ve likely heard banded around blogs, TV adverts, at the office and probably over the local park. It’s becoming a familiar term. With a number of cloud computing disadvantages and advantages, you may be keen to understand what the benefits of cloud computing are to you and your business. That’s why we have put together a helpful guide to give you a steer in the right direction.
What is cloud computing
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services via the internet. For example, services such as servers, software and storage will be processed online where it can be accessed from anywhere. The people who deliver these services are called cloud providers, think Amazon, Microsoft, SAP etc. The question is, how do you know if cloud computing is right for your business? Let us help you find out.
What are the advantages of using cloud computing?
There is a lot of value to using cloud providers for your business, so let’s see what they could do for you.
One of the main advantages of cloud computing is that it can increase in capacity to accommodate your own business growth. It can often be a very expensive game when you have to upgrade to physical providers such as servers. What if you need to downsize? Don’t worry, your cloud server can expand or contract in line with your requirements.
Focus on your business
When you are running a business, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the daily running and maintenance issues of IT. With a managed cloud solution, your provider will handle everything, meaning you are free to sit back in the driving seat for your business.
If you are looking to innovate in your business then you may ask yourself: what can cloud computing do for me? A valuable benefit of using the cloud is in its speed. So if you have a new project you want to collaborate on and launch fast – your cloud based software can make this happen!
Future-proof your business
We don’t know where the future of digital will take us, but what we can be sure of is that it’s an ever changing and growing landscape. By embracing cloud based solutions, it will give you the power to ride the crest of the digital wave, ensuring your business stays at the forefront of innovation in its sector.
It is important to understand the disadvantages of cloud computing for your business too, to ensure you have processes in place for every eventuality. If you find a provider whose integration ensures your workflows are more efficient and your data is more easily accessible, then you’re surely onto a winner!
What are the disadvantages of cloud computing?
Integrating new workflows and processes can be a bold move, so it’s important to evaluate it for risks within your business. Here we explore the main disadvantages of cloud computing for business.
Downtime is by far the biggest disadvantage of cloud computing for business. Because your services are delivered through the Internet, they rely on a stable connection. There are many reasons why a cloud platform provider may have an outage, and no provider can confirm that it will be active 100% of the time. Even big providers like Dropbox have had outages for 48 hours. As a result, you will need to consider what processes your business could have in place if such an outage scenario arose.
A common worry about cloud computing is the levels of security and privacy. As a business, you want to know that your documents and data are secure. There are two elements to consider here: firstly, do you trust your provider? After all, they are responsible for safeguarding your data. Secondly, you must consider your own security practices and how you can close the risk gap. For example, you may want to create complicated passwords, monitor remote access and even add another level of security to your own devices. There is a risk of security breaches with cloud providers, but it is down to you to weigh up the risk level for your business.
The final disadvantage of cloud computing for us is the level of customer service you receive from the cloud providers. It is important to remember that you will require access to a key account manager or customer service desk. You will undoubtedly have a lot of questions about integrating new software and continued queries about updates, so it’s important you can call on that service provider as and when you need. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a new software and no-one to help you work through the kinks of implementation. So, choose your cloud providers wisely, and assess their customer service policies and offers in detail.
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