In the past few years there has been a big increase in businesses who have found ways to reduce their IT and operating costs through cloud computing. As a result, they’re moving business functions from on-site servers to the Web. Cloud computing is the use of internet-based services to support business processes (unsure of what cloud computing is? Click Here to find out). Before making the decision to move your business in ‘the cloud’, make sure you weigh up the pros and cons of cloud computing.
So let’s look at some of the Pros of Cloud Computing:
- Cost reduction – Cloud computing reduces paperwork, lowers transaction costs, and minimizes investment in hardware (and the resources to manage and install it).
- Easier collaboration with remote locations – Since services in the cloud can be accessed 24/7 from any computer; it’s easy to collaborate with employees in distant locations, working from home or abroad.
- 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 and additional features as and when required.
- Value for money – Cloud computing providers offer 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 server hardware.
As with many significant changes in infrastructure there are often cons to bear in mind:
- Availability – Something that can never be predicted is outage; will your cloud service go down unexpectedly, leaving you without important information for hours or more?
- Data mobility and ownership – It’s worthwhile checking your Cloud providers terms and conditions before signing up to avoid pitfalls. For instance if 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 cancelled the service?
- Privacy – How much data are cloud companies collecting and how might that information be used?