Cloud computing is another name for storing data and applications remotely instead of on your own premises. Although this system of online data storage has been in use for about as long as the internet, it has gained increasingly growing popularity in recent years.
Cloud computing is easy, convenient and can potentially cut IT costs and dramatically speed up your operations. In the corporate world, it renders financial sense as it ensures businesses do not need to spend heavily on data storage or carrying out server maintenance. However, when even giant institutes and big companies are having a significantly tough enough time to keep their users’ personal information safe and secure from cyber criminals and data breaches, how could the same be safe when it is stored in ‘the cloud?’
Despite the significant rise and popularity of public cloud platforms being offered by Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services, hardly ten percent of the world’s data is presently stored in the cloud. Technology experts explore the cloud security issue as the leading reason why it is still not safe in many ways.
The Fundamentals of Cloud Computing
The key idea of cloud computing simply is that one’s data and information is stored online, easily available and accessible from any internet-ready device for you whenever you need it. It is an evident idea that immensely tempts companies seeking ways to cut their data storage costs. Eventually, an online data storage facility seems like a feasible alternative to purchasing costly servers for data storage and retaining an IT expert on hand to look after them.
Before you go for cloud computing, consider how certain disadvantages of cloud storage could affect your organization:
1. Possible Downtime
With cloud computing, your business is dependent on your internet connection’s reliability. Thus, when it is disconnected, eventually you are inactive. It is similar when your business’s bookkeeping aspects are maintained on an online software; you cannot access them when you are offline. If your company has frequent issues with its internet connectivity, then cloud computing may not be an appropriate option for your business.
2. Security Issues
Although you may find cloud platforms to be fine for your favorite music and public pictures, when a business stores the personal information of their clients on the cloud, the company could suffer a severe cyber security attack that can eventually wide out the organization as well. This is because you do not have a concrete idea where you are storing your data, thus, you do not know whether your data is secure or not. The primary level of data security is all about physically protecting the actual hardware that holds the data.
Likewise, an equally vital concern, especially for government institutes and the military, is that the employees who have access to all the data as part of their employment can also be a threat to the security of the servers themselves. As an entrepreneur, you need to determine whether the security levels that a cloud data storage company provides can offset cloud computing’s significant security disadvantages.
In order to assure you are saving money, you must diligently look at the details and pricing plans for each cloud application, taking into consideration future possible expansion. If your company doesn’t need the latest, updated versions of a software annually, then the desktop application can be a more affordable option in the long run. If your organization involves data migration, you must know that data transfers to the inbound cloud is free. However, outbound data transfers accompany monthly charges on a per GB basis.
Some cloud apps’ inflexibility is another drawback of cloud computing. In fact, some cloud vendors deliberately make it difficult, expensive or even impossible for their customers to migrate from their cloud to another. Thus, do prior necessary research and ensure you are switching to the cloud that offers optimal flexibility for now and in the future.
5. Customer Support
Although earlier cloud computing’s customer service was terrible, many vendors have improved it now. However, better customer service comes at a price. Even Google’s basic viz. silver, a support package for its cloud platforms, presently costs $150/month. If your company requires an instant response to client support concerns, then you must make sure that the cloud services vendor under consideration has several options available for necessary technical support such as email, live chat, phone, user forums, and knowledge bases.
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