Insights
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
By : Chris

Cloud computing has had its ups and downs over the last few years — with a few serious data breaches hitting the news — but ultimately the cloud came out of it bigger and stronger than ever before.

Cloud computing isn’t still ‘on the horizon.’ It’s no longer in the early adopter stage — it’s well established and here to stay.

From the glassy towers of multinational corporations to the bustling workshops of small enterprises, the cloud has walked into all of our lives and made itself at home. It’s become the IT solution du jour, stepping out of the limelight of novelty and hype into mainstream adoption.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at the cloud and break it down into 3 key areas; security, access and productivity. We’ll then detail the advantages and disadvantages of these key areas of the cloud, compared to onsite infrastructure.

So, without further ado, let’s get stuck in.

 

advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing vs on prem

 

Security in the Cloud

One of, if not the biggest roadblocks to adopting multi-cloud is security.

There’s a perception that if you can see something, it’s inherently more secure than something you can’t see. People end up thinking their own infrastructure, in the office or down the hall, is more secure than the cloud.

Whereas their data can actually live in a hyper-secure, purpose-built data centre; the safer option by far.

That said, it’s only fair to state that the cloud might not be a silver bullet for everyone. So let’s explore the pros and cons of data security in the cloud.

 

Advantages of data security in the cloud:

  • Excels at resiliency and privacy.
  • Your cloud provider safeguards your infrastructure so you can secure your apps.
  • Data is stored in the cloud, not locally, meaning it’s safe in the event of a device loss or theft.
  • Cloud vendors invest in securing their systems to a much bigger degree than individual companies can.
  • The cloud reduces the potential points of intrusion by locking everything behind specific, secure access points.
  • These access points can be secured with authentication tools, saving you substantial infrastructure and staffing costs compared to on-site equipment.

 

Disadvantages of data security in the cloud:

  • Accountability is given to your provider. Although this is a benefit, you need trust with your cloud provider and clearly define procedures to ensure security.
  • Accessing data over an internet connection means you won’t be able to meet certain regulatory requirements, no matter how secure the solution is.

 

Access to the Cloud

Access is a hot topic when it comes to the cloud. Who should be given access to what in the cloud, and how is it moderated? How can businesses access the cloud and when should they? But, the discussion isn’t just focused on access into the cloud. There’s also a fair bit of chatter about leaving the cloud too.

There’s a common misconception that once you’re in the cloud, you’ve checked into Hotel California — you can never leave. That’s a myth. But parting ways with the cloud isn’t always a stroll in the park, depending on your level of dependency. If you’re using the cloud merely as a storage locker, retrieving your data is as simple. Just ask your vendor to ship your data to you on a hard drive (though it might cost you a pretty penny).

But if you’re more dependent on the cloud, you’ll need a skilled technician to migrate you back to on-premise infrastructure; the kind of skilled technician you’d need to maintain your on-premise infrastructure in the first place.

In short, you need to do your homework before you take the plunge, and discuss exit strategies with potential vendors. This pre-emptive strike might save you from future headaches by weeding out ill-equipped providers.

Below, you’ll find all of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, regarding data access.

 

Advantages of cloud data access:

  • As long as you’ve got internet, you can access your work, anytime, anywhere, from any device.
  • You’re safe from theft, fire, damage and human blunders.
  • Remote workers can avoid slow and convoluted VPN (Virtual Private Network) connections.

Disadvantages of cloud data access:

  • You always need an internet connection unless you have everything duplicated offline.
  • Although it’s incredibly secure, the cloud can be accessed from the public web, which means greater end-point security is needed (compared to an isolated network).

 

man using computer in a low lit internet cafe office.

 

Productivity in the Cloud

Downtime is the bane of all businesses. It’s a blockade to productivity. If your IT infrastructure trips up, your team might as well clock out. Whether it’s a server giving up the ghost or an application throwing a fit, you’d traditionally have to rely on your resident IT whiz to fix it. And this could be slow and costly.

Alternatively, you’d call your IT support company to fix the issue. That’d require them to diagnose the issue before talking you through the recovery process – or even coming out to your office. These would be inefficient, slow, and often costly.

And if an on-site server breaks, it could take days, and thousands of pounds in replacement costs.

But with the cloud, should a server go down, your data hops onto a failover server (as long as your cloud provider follows best practice). This isn’t possible on-premise without shelling out for duplicate hardware.

 

Cloud Computing Productivity Advantages:

  • Your vendor handles maintenance, management, and updates for you.
  • A Service Level Agreement (SLA) will guarantee uptime, or at least compensation if it’s broken.

 

Cloud Computing Productivity Disadvantages:

  • In the cloud, you share resources and your provider’s time with other customers, which could cause problems if they’re understaffed. Make sure they can handle demand without leaving you in the lurch.

Cloud computing comes with a range of highs and lows. Different implementations and scenarios will have varying impacts. But one thing is clear: if the advantages tick your business’ IT needs, it’s time to start scanning the horizon for a reputable cloud solution provider.

 

If you want to find out more about our cloud services, contact Synextra, one of the leading Enterprise Cloud Hosting Companies in the UK.

 

Article By:
Chris
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