Despite the varying needs of consumers, it is possible to identify several cloud computing pros and cons that are considered universal. It is important to note, however, that not all of these characteristics of cloud based computing will have a significant impact on each user that employs the technology. For this reason, it is absolutely vital to be aware of you or your organization’s specific needs when determining which cloud computing services to utilize.
Cloud Computing Pros and Cons – The Usual Suspects
Generally speaking, there are three major advantages of cloud computing, and three primary disadvantages. An overview of each follows.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
For the vast majority of organizations that consider adopting cloud computing technology, managing cost is one of their primary motivations. Unlike standard business computing models, the cloud enables clients to utilize software and hardware on a per-use basis. This not only eliminates the need for capital investment, but also eliminates the wasted expense of underutilized resources.
Scalability of Resources
In today’s rapidly changing business environment, flexibility and scalability are critical to an organization’s profitability. Cloud technology makes both of these valuable capabilities accessible by allowing the client to instantly access additional resources (e.g. online cloud storage) as needed, or discontinue their use and associated cost when circumstances dictate.
By managing all system administration, maintenance and upgrades for their clients, cloud computing providers remove this day-to-day burden and its expenses from their bottom lines. On top of the positive cost implications, this also means that the end user is guaranteed of having the latest, up-to-date software at their disposal every time they use an application.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Despite the fact that many cloud users believe that the technology’s redundancy (i.e. capacity for backing up and sharing data) is unlimited, the truth of the matter is that cloud networks can occasionally become overextended. This past year saw several high-profile cloud outages, where entire networks failed for brief periods of time and left clients unable to access their data and software.
Due to increasingly strained resources in some cloud service networks, performance issues may arise for some users. These generally manifest themselves in the form of slowed down applications, which can lead to lost time and a frustrating experience for the end user.
Privacy and Security
Without a doubt, the greatest disadvantage of cloud computing for many users is lack of privacy. Because all data management is handled by a third party (i.e. the service provider) and its encryption software, organizations that deal in sensitive client information often find the typical cloud storage provider’s security systems to be inadequate.
Weighing the Cloud Computing Pros and Cons for Yourself
As mentioned at the outset, the issues mentioned in this article will affect each organization and personal cloud computing user differently. For instance, whereas the technology’s disadvantage in terms of security may make it unusable (or, in the least, unappealing) to some potential clients, it may not be consideration at all for others. Determining which of these cloud computing pros and cons are issues for you and your company requires an honest assessment of your requirements in each affected service area.