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The Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing Services

Geoff Roy - Friday, August 29, 2014

Cloud computing services are an ever growing presence when it comes to IT management for businesses. Frequently these days you’ll hear reference from someone who will have moved their IT into ‘the cloud’. We do this on behalf of our clients regularly as part of their IT support service.

There’s something almost mystical about the phrase isn’t there? As though we are magically storing our most precious  files away to some faraway land beyond the ether. And, in a sense, perhaps, we are.

Certainly the evolution of cloud computing services in recent years has given rise to the notion that this is the future of IT and the panacea to all of our computing an data issues. But is this really the case? 

We take a look at some of the pros and cons currently existent with today’s cloud computing services.  

The Pros

Cloud Services frees up resources

In a nutshell, cloud services can be considerably LESS costly to your business for the day to day managing of your IT system and the storing of data.

Adopting cloud services into your business can free your business from the costs of additional resources such as in-house data management systems, hardware and software (and their licences), the cost of acquiring servers and indeed a reduction in the amount of personnel required for the task.

As you store and move your data to these remote servers, you can eliminate many of the costs attached to maintaining in-house.

Instant availability of data

The big feature of cloud services is that it allows for continuous and instant access to your data regardless of location and / or device.

As our business models grow ever more mobile (and our phones and tablets ever smarter) there is a growing need to have access to files and other data as and when required and indeed, on the move.

With cloud computing your data is stored on remote servers (usually multiple servers in fact) meaning that you can almost always gain access to it.

Continuity of service

Related to the previous point is the fact that, with most reputable cloud services, you are going to get a level of continuity in your service that can be largely uninterrupted.

As the service providers work on huge networks of servers on a global scale then the risk that there will ever be downtime is greatly minimised.

Increasing to scale with your business needs and growth

One of the hidden aspects to a business is the requirement to grow your I.T. infrastructure in line with the amount which your business might grow over time. With cloud services you have the ability to rather seamlessly increase your capacity at the rate required for your business.

The Cons

Picking the right service provider

We’ve looked at a range of advantages above that you can get from cloud computing. This however is then dependent on ensuring you pick a provider that is reputable, robust and able to deliver all of these advantages for your business. In an ever growing sector this means you may find yourself having to scour tirelessly to get the right provider.

Moving data provider can be problematic

Similarly, should you ever need to change your cloud provider or maybe even move your I.T. management to a more traditional or in-house system then the moving of a mass of business data can be something of a cumbersome task that can eat, even if only temporarily, into resource or productivity.

Therefore, if you are going to move to the advantages a cloud provider can offer, then getting your options picked correctly at the outset can certainly help further down the road. DO YOUR RESEARCH

Security concerns

You are sending your data to a remote server. In other words, you are putting your trust into the hands of others when it comes to the protection and security of your data. For many this will be a cause of concern and a reason to take pause before committing to a cloud provider.

Again, this is a legitimate concern and a reason that you should ensure that you are doing your research thoroughly beforehand, picking only those providers who can demonstrate a truly robust level of security that satisfies your concerns.

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