A lot of businesses heavily weigh the potential gains and consequences of moving their business to the cloud. It can be a difficult decision because adopting a cloud infrastructure has many benefits, but also some drawbacks. Business owners need to consider how migrating to the cloud carefully will benefit the company and then weigh if those benefits will outweigh the potential disadvantages. Some businesses can cut costs by moving some essential processes to the cloud, while keeping other services in-house with physical servers.
This discussion will examine some of the typical pros and cons and how you can decide if a move to the cloud is right for your business.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Arguably, one of the toughest things to get over is understanding what exactly is “the cloud.” The name itself conjures images of fluffy, billowy pillows in the sky that are there, but also not there; they are physical and tangible, but also aloof and vaporous. It’s difficult to imagine moving your business to something you can’t even touch. Cloud computing involves using a service provider of remote servers, accessible through the Internet, to store, process and manage data and software (there, but also not there).
What Are the Pros Of Cloud Computing
The commonly cited advantages of cloud computing are scalability, cost, and accessibility.
When companies experience success, they grow. One of the most significant challenges of handling a rapidly expanding business is being able to scale your needs appropriately to match that growth. A growing company needs more resources, more employees, more sophisticated software services and so on. Cloud services act much like the utilities at your home; the more you use, the more your bill. You don’t have to expand and buy more hardware.
Compared to the costs of buying, operating, managing and staffing a server room and IT department, cloud computing is immensely more affordable and convenient. Some companies can save hundreds of thousands on payroll costs alone by shrinking their IT department after making the switch to a cloud service.
Cloud resources are accessible from any Internet-connected device, as long as you have the right login credentials. This makes things like telecommuting or remote/mobile offices easy because people can have access to all of the company data and resources they need, from anywhere. If you want to open an office in Georgia, you don’t have to look for Atlanta real estate to house a large server room; you can connect straight to HQ via the cloud.
Cons of Cloud Computing
The main drawbacks of the cloud are outages and security.
If you have an in-house server room, you have greater control over when maintenance is carried out, and the servers go offline. With a cloud computing service, your provider determines this. You could potentially lose service for hours during a critical time for your business!
Any discussion about company data has to include the topic of security. Cloud providers ensure that your data is protected as best that they can. But, data breaches are possible, and the risk only increases with the more remote users and employees you have logged into the cloud service.
What’s best for your company? Making the shift to cloud computing is not an easy decision, nor one to take lightly. To ensure that you make the right move, you have to research not only the pros and cons but also the different service providers and what they can offer. Mainly, how they help counteract the security and interruption of service issues associated with cloud computing.