Small, mid-sized and even large corporations are moving from their on-site servers to a place in the clouds. With so many advantages to be found in doing so, does that mean cloud computing is without pitfalls? Nothing comes without a few negatives and the same holds true for cloud computing.
Nearly every company is going to be solicited to get cloud computing. Most won't know exactly what it is, what it does and what it has the potential to offer them.
No matter what the company or service in question, the smart buyer knows that there is a drawback--even if it's only a minor one--to everything. Knowing the drawbacks and the benefits could help you to make a wiser, more informed decision and to make use of the many benefits that cloud computing has to offer.
PEER 1 Network Enterprises, a business hosting firm recently surveyed more than 200 decision makers in the IT industry. They found that more than 80 percent of them do not use cloud hosting or cloud technology. The reason for it was that most of them displayed a surprising lack of knowledge about what cloud hosting really was and what the major benefits and drawbacks really were. Further, fully 25% of the people questioned believed that cloud computing presented security concerns that their private server would not.
Even some of the hottest IT techs online were confused and concerned about the nature of use, security and other aspects of cloud computing.
What Exactly IS "The Cloud?"
The cloud is a term that is used to mean storing and accessing your data and software via the internet as opposed to storing it on a personal computer or services at the office. If you've used Gmail, Google appls and a few other services, up to and including Zoho, you've been using the cloud all along and just were not aware of it.
The problem in some cases is the terminology. For those who aren't overly tech savvy, the term presents confusion. For those who are in smaller businesses, it represents a massive shift in the way that they are accustomed to doing business. For many people, therein lies the issue.
Another part of the problem, according to the experts, is that cloud computing is relatively new. What is new is not necessarily tried and tested and in many cases, we're accustomer to anti-viruses, new services and even major software being dropping onto the marketplace well before it is ready to be so. This promotes distrust in anything that is truly innovative and new in technology.
What are the Pro's and Con's of Cloud Computing?
If there are any major pro's and cons to cloud computing they are these:
- The lack of full control of your data
- The exposure of your data to third party companies.
- The uncertainty that you may feel about cloud computing.
- Lowered overall IT costs
- Lowered computing costs
- Increased safety of the data
The pros are that with cloud computing probably comes increased security. Likewise cloud computing offers greater safety for your data which is an area well worth exploring. Probably what most people will like is that cloud computing costs less in the long range. For smaller business this can be a godsend but more than the overall security improvement, nearly every cloud computing service has an off site backup of your data. In most cases and for many companies. even they don't have a backup of their data. That means that your data is better housed in the cloud.
Is Cloud Computing safe?That depends on what you consider safe. There's less likelihood that the cloud computing facility that you're using will be breached than that your office server could be so.
Your office server is being used daily by people who are not experts. It's being flooded with emails and files that may or may not be secure and if you don't have an IT department in your business, your data is much safer in the cloud.
Conversely if you do have an IT department in your business, your data may be slightly cheaper, but realistically would be much cheaper in the cloud since you could pare down the IT department.
The overall best reason for using cloud computing is that in today's world, whoever controls the information has the advantage. Whether you're on a job site, on a bus with your smart phone or in the middle of the Sahara, if you've got phone or internet access, you can get your data and use it.
The absolute portability of your data is what sells cloud computing.
Now, try that with your office server.