New to Cloud Computing? Know the Pros and Cons of Switching to the Cloud
As a business owner, you’ve likely heard plenty about cloud technology and how it can help or hurt your business. It can be tough to know what information to trust, but the truth is that the Cloud works differently for every company based on needs and industry—which is why some companies rave about the Cloud, while others have negative experiences. While it might not be the right time to switch to the Cloud for your company just yet, it’s good to know how it can help your business as it grows, as well as the pitfalls of Cloud computing. Read on to get a good idea of both the positive and negative ramifications of using the Cloud, before you make the switch for your own company.
PROS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
Cloud computing offers many pros that can save money and improve employee efficiency. It could provide benefits that alter your current procedures, and even save you money. Once again, these benefits will depend on the type of Cloud services you use and the state or size of your company. When used correctly, there are many benefits to switching to the cloud—here are just a few:
Lower Start-up Costs
Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a network server and various hardware, Cloud computing offers an incredibly lower start-up cost, as there is little hardware to buy. If your company requires a great amount of hardware and maintenance, your startup costs will add up quickly and continue to cost you money.
Easier Recovery Methods
In the event of an emergency, backup and recovery procedures may be considerably easier with the Cloud. Whether you are at home or a new office trying to access or recover your data, the Cloud makes it much easier to while allowing you to recover data regardless of whether you're home or at a new office. You don’t have to worry about your devices getting lost, stolen, or damaged and losing all your data.
Scalable to Fit Demands
Most Cloud services are scalable, meaning that it can be increased or decreased to fit the demands of your business without a large monetary investment. According to the professionals at MapADataCenter.com, most Cloud services will allow you to customize your services depending on your needs and financial preferences. Additionally, you can typically make a bulk, one-time payment, or work out a payment plan across several months.
Easy to Deploy
It usually depends on what type of technology your business uses, but most services for Cloud computing can be deployed quickly, and to your employees simultaneously. This is a huge draw to companies because it eliminates a great amount of hassle for the business owner and for IT.
One appeal of using the Cloud is that it eliminates the need for a particular physical device. While this is helpful for data recovery, it will also make processes more convenient since you and your employees don’t have to be sitting at your desks using office computers to access the information that you need. This also comes in handy if you work with clients or colleagues out of state, or even overseas.
CONS OF CLOUD COMPUTING
While Cloud computing has many benefits, there are some drawbacks to using Internet-based technology. In some instances, the prospect of switching to Cloud computing could be inefficient compared to what you may currently have in place. The Cloud isn’t the optimal method for every single business, and like any technology today, it has some pitfalls:
Internet Connection Needed
Although we live in an age where Wi-Fi and Internet access is abundant and astonishing, the need for a strong internet connection can be a drawback at times. If you lose access to the Internet for any reason, you lose access to your data. While the Cloud has mobility, Internet is spotty and even non-existent in some areas.
In the Cloud environment, you have little control over the apps and hardware. A third party is usually needed for adjustments and changes, which doesn’t give you much control over when or how things happen. This can be tricky, especially if you are inexperienced with computers—you might be at the mercy of your service provider.
In many Cloud-based services, your business is sharing the hardware resources with other clients. This means the performance of software could be reduced. However, this can be avoided by renting a dedicated server.
The more people you have accessing online resources, the more bandwidth you'll need for the connection. This means the Internet will become slower with each additional simultaneous user. Your work could quickly come to a halt if you are experiencing connectivity problems.
In order to have an optimal experience with Cloud computing, you need to analyze your business infrastructure carefully. Weigh costs of converting to the Cloud versus maintaining your current system. Although some services may improve the functionality of your organization, you don’t need to rely solely on the cloud. Many companies opt for a combination of Cloud services along with other data management and storage in order to get the best of both worlds.
PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr Creative Commons via JD Hancock
About Dixie Somers
Dixie is a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, and women's interests. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.