Cloud computing has been one of the most significant technological trends of recent years, a sort of buzzword that is increasingly widespread among large and medium-sized companies. Several large companies have moved their infrastructure to cloud solutions, and the development of a growing number of applications is in this direction. But at the same time, there is a greater awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.
Many small and medium-sized businesses wonder if cloud solutions are best for their organization. While cloud computing certainly cannot be dismissed as a simple fad, at the same time, it is not the best choice for all companies. Each reality must carefully analyze its organization, the infrastructures it has, any restrictions and limitations, and all that is needed to understand the opportunity or not to invest in cloud services. There are both advantages and disadvantages to cloud computing, and below, we show you several aspects that can help you make the best choice for your business.
What Is The Cloud?
A commonly accepted translation of cloud computing is “cloud computing.” There are several definitions. Here we can limit ourselves to saying that it is a new way of providing services to businesses. These can thus use software and hardware resources provided by distant servers and data centers, which do not belong to the company itself. Both software and hardware thus become “services.”
There are different types of services provided in this way, some of which are also known and used by individuals: let’s think of Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, and OneDrive from Microsoft, which offer both online storage and online collaboration features (especially Box, Drive, and OneDrive) typical of cloud computing.
There is also software for companies delivered entirely in the cloud. Many companies choose a hybrid solution: they use the computing power of remote servers (thus exploiting hardware resources in the cloud) to run software applications and data that remain inside the servers Business. The latter is the option chosen by many companies, which makes us understand some critical issues that emerge from the use of the cloud, ranging from data security to costs.
The Benefits Of The Cloud
As we have just seen, some critical issues can emerge from using the cloud. Nonetheless, this technology has been (and will be) one of the emerging trends of recent years, so it has some significant advantages:
- Easy implementation. Cloud hosting allows enterprises to keep the same programs and applications they had in the past without having to interface with back-end technical problems. Easily managed via the internet, an enterprise can adopt a cloud infrastructure with ease and speed.
- Accessibility. The data can be accessed from any device, location, and at any time. Your apps and data are always available.
- Reduced use of hardware. Data and applications are stored in the cloud, so there is no need to have a corporate data storage hardware infrastructure.
- Flexibility. Cloud services are generally modular, so if your business grows, it can easily buy more space or computing power.
- Cooperation. If your company has multiple locations, cloud solutions are great for getting multiple people to collaborate on duplicate files and applications; it is ideal for adopting smart working.
These are some of the main advantages of cloud computing, which have made it one of the most important technology trends of recent years. But there are some critical issues that companies shouldn’t underestimate.
Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing
As with any new technology, there are some drawbacks that tiny businesses need to take into account. Let’s see some of them.
- Internet connection: Cloud computing makes your business entirely dependent on the reliability of your internet connection. Unfortunately, there are still many areas where the link is not fast or reliable enough.
- Reliability of the cloud service: Even the most reliable services can experience periods of service interruption; some of the most famous cases have become international news stories. In times of downtime, your business is also at a standstill.
- Safety: One of the most talked-about points: how secure is your data? Cloud computing means “internet computing”: your data can be accessed from anywhere, and if this is an advantage for you, it is also an advantage for any hackers. It is not enough for service providers to implement the most advanced security systems; you also need a company policy that requires all your staff to adopt secure passwords and behaviors that do not jeopardize data security.
- Costs: At first glance, the costs of a cloud application can be lower than those of a classic software solution. However, it is essential to make sure that the cloud application has all the functions your business needs, and you don’t have to buy a premium version, for example.
- Versions: Connected to the previous point, costs are the question of versions. Do I always need the latest version of the software for my business? Or can I use the same version for a few years? By purchasing software that you install on your hardware, you make a one-off purchase, with a cost that can be spread over many years for the needs of your business. Otherwise, with the cloud, you pay an annual fee, apparently low, but which can exceed the cost of standard software in a few years without you having the absolute need for a constantly updated application.
- Check: Migrating to the cloud means outsourcing any problems to another company. The largest international cloud providers now offer fast and advanced customer support services. Still, unfortunately, this is not always the case in the case of small to medium-sized service providers. For this reason, it is more advantageous for many activities to solve any technical problems internally, obviously by adopting non-cloud solutions.
For years, cloud computing will be a significant technology trend and undoubtedly an excellent solution for many companies. For various small and medium-sized companies, switching to the cloud could entail various problems and costs, so before taking a step of this kind, it is essential to evaluate all the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing. This involves corporate reorganization and some unknowns, such as entirely relying on an internet connection to carry out one’s business.