The Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing

Local service providers for the cloud computing industry.

To many people, especially those from the older generation, cloud computing doesn’t make any sense or is a concept that’s hard to grasp.

But this is the bricks-and- mortar crowd of yesteryear who didn’t grow up with mobile phones and tablets, and in their day only the military had computers that could actually do anything. So, the very term ‘cloud computing’ scares them.

But times have changed, quite radically, and we have moved from desktop computing to cloud computing (CC) in a very short space of time. Cloud computing is, in essence, an internet-based computing system whereby all your shared resources, information and data are stored in the cloud, or on servers that are hard to describe, or find for that matter.

While many companies have already moved their businesses to the cloud, many more are still reluctant to. We’ll help you make that decision by taking a look at the pros and cons of cloud computing:

Pros

Access your information from anywhere

The most basic benefit is that you can access data and information from anywhere in the world, on any device, as long as you have an internet connection. No need to carry reams of data with you, because it’s all stored in the cloud. This also means you can work from an island in the Caribbean with access to the same information and data that you enjoy from your South African office.

Need less IT resources

With most of your data stored in the cloud, the software is taken care of by a central administration system. This means you do not have to worry about maintaining and updating your system, which can be time consuming and expensive. In addition, any technical issues, which may still affect you, are not your problem to correct but rather your service provider’s problem to deal with. This means you save money in terms of IT support and maintenance.

More efficient disaster recovery

Even though many companies use external back-up systems, in the case of a hardware crash or other such disasters, data recovery can also be time consuming and costly. Although the cloud is not infallible, it is far less likely to result in your data being lost, and it’s far cheaper and easier to back up and retrieve your data. Decreased carbon footprint

Let’s face it the less hardware we have around the office the less impact we have on the environment. Cloud computing can reduce a company’s energy requirements by up to 30% depending on its size.

Cons

The cloud can go down too

The cloud is not immune to outages, and while it does not happen often, it can and it does. This is most prevalent when the servers become overwhelmed, resulting in a certain amount of downtime in productivity. Precautions can be taken to minimise this.

Bandwidth dependent

When you work in the cloud, you are reliant on your bandwidth for you speed of operations. So, if you are bandwidth-challenged and your internet speed is as fast as a koala bear when you need a race horse, it can be very frustrating. This is particular relevant when you need to access large files.

Security still a risk

Just because you’ve got your head in the clouds doesn’t mean no one can get to you. Cloud computing, while having plenty of its own security, is still vulnerable to cyber-attacks by hackers. When you decide to go for the cloud, make sure that your service provider has all the necessary defences and security tools to protect your data and information. No cloud system is 100% safe, but some are safer than others.

You give up some control

When you engage in cloud computing you are reliant on your service provider to a large extent. They maintain most of the control as they own the software and have the skills to fix problems when they occur.

Conclusion

Cloud computing is here to stay, with more and companies embracing it. It’s not perfect but it is a good system, with more pros than cons, and as long as you choose the right company to work with, you’ll be floating on a hi-tech cloud 9 pretty soon.

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