In the simplest of terms, a cloud solution is an IT setup that offers externally hosted software, hardware or other applications to a business or individual. This means that your data is stored on servers in remote data centres, which you can access through the Internet.
When cloud computing first popped up it got heaps of criticism that simply dismissed it as a temporary tech fad. However, today cloud computing has managed to become more than a hype, and turned itself into a truly unique shift in the paradigm of how businesses see IT. The Cloud has cut costs for many enterprises and helped end-users focus on their core business needs instead of messy IT issues. For this reason, it seems that this advanced technology is here to stay.
If you’ve ever used Google Docs, then you have used a cloud-based system. The documents and applications in Google Docs are not stored on your computer; instead they are retained on Google’s servers, which you access through the use of an Internet connection.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers numerous advantages to both end users and businesses of all sizes. The obvious advantage of cloud computing is that you no longer have to support or maintain an IT infrastructure. This burden is lifted and someone else takes care of all that mess. Businesses are now able to focus on their core vision by outsourcing all the hassle of IT to the cloud.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important advantages of cloud computing and discuss them in more detail.
This is perhaps the greatest advantage upgrading to cloud computing. The cloud eliminates the need to invest in stand-alone software or servers. By balancing the cloud’s capabilities, businesses can save on software licensing fees and remove overhead charges such as the cost of management, data storage, system updates, etc.
The cloud is generally cheaper than traditional IT approaches and can significantly lower the overall technology-related expenses of a business. If you dig a little deeper, you will find that cloud computing brings a better cash flow to your business by eliminating the capital expenses related to developing and maintaining server infrastructures.
Better up time and Convenience
The open cloud allows for services that are available anywhere the end-user is located. This enables simple access to information, which meets the needs of users in different geographic locations and time zones. As an added benefit, collaboration is taken to a whole new level, since it is now easier than ever to access, view and modify business documents.
You also get an increase in service up-time, keeping your business running effectively for longer. In case the systems fail, alternative backup schemes are automatically deployed on other machines.
Improved Recovery and Backup
The cloud simplifies the process of backing up and recovering data, since all your files reside on the cloud and not on one physical device. Cloud providers usually offer dependable and flexible backup/recovery solutions. In some instances, the cloud itself is used solely as a backup storehouse of some businesses.
Lower Energy Bills
Typical IT infrastructure usually consumes a lot more power than the cloud. With cloud computing it takes fewer resources to keep your business running, thus saving you energy. For example, when servers are discarded, the IT infrastructure can normally be scaled down. This frees up resources that consume power.
Scalability and Performance
Scalability is one of the greatest features that automatically come with any cloud infrastructure. The cloud deploys instances automatically, and it does so when needed. As a result of this, you only have to pay for the applications and storage that your business uses. This way, your specific cloud workspace can be scaled up and down to meet your fluctuating IT demands.
As far as performance goes, cloud systems take advantage of dispersed architectures, which offer outstanding computation speeds.
Increased Storage Capacity
The cloud is known for being able to store much more data than classic servers or personal computers. It eliminates business worries about running out of space.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers a lot of great benefits to businesses. However, being a tool, it is normal that it also comes with its set of glitches and ineptitudes.
Security and privacy in the Cloud
For most businesses, security is the principal issue when it comes to cloud computing. By using a remote infrastructure, a company fundamentally gives away their private data and information to someone else— things that might be sensitive and confidential. It is up to the cloud service provider to protect and retain that data. This makes it extremely important to spend a little more and get a trusted and reliable cloud provider.
On a similar note, privacy in the cloud becomes a potential issue. Companies need to entrust their cloud service providers with their data, and trust that they will keep it away from unauthorized users.
Dependent on an Internet Connection
A big concern for businesses is that the whole cloud setup is dependent on Internet access. So if your network fails or you have connectivity problems, it will put a quick stop to the operation of your business.
Cloud based solutions work through the public Internet, and thus are more vulnerable targets for hackers. As we have learned from the past, nothing placed on the Internet is100% secure. Even big companies and government agents have been the victims of attacks.