There is no denying that cloud computing has become a major trend in enterprise business over the past few years. In 2014 there was a dramatic rise in the number of businesses utilising cloud technology as more companies saw the benefits of cloud based systems and, according to a recent survey by Business Cloud News ,there will continue to be a significant increase in the uptake of cloud services over the next few years.
While businesses are beginning to see that there are many benefits to cloud technology, it is also important to note that many challenges still exist in the cloud space. Before a company decides to make a move to the cloud space or increase their current cloud deployment, they should carefully consider some of the pros and cons around cloud based technology.
The pros of cloud for the enterprise business:
Cost efficiency – A cloud solution is generally more cost effective than having the necessary infrastructure in-house. It eliminates the need to invest in stand-alone software or servers and enables companies to eliminate overhead charges such as the cost of data storage, software updates, etc.
Cloud solutions are generally cheaper than traditional solutions and at the same time have convenient and scalable payment models that enable companies to only pay for what they use.
Convenience – Another main benefit of cloud solutions is that they have continuous availability. A public cloud service is available wherever the user may be located which allows for easy access to information and accommodates the needs of users in different time zones and geographic locations. It also offers device and location independence so users can access it across a number of different devices such as smartphones, tablets or computers from any location. This can be an important factor for any business which wants to enable a mobile workforce.
Backup and recovery – When utilising a cloud solution the process of backup and recovery is simplified as it now resides in the cloud and not on a physical device which allows for a more reliable and flexible backup and recovery solution. It is also more resilient as a cloud deployment is generally built on a more robust architecture and offers automatic failover between hardware platforms.
The cons of cloud for the enterprise business:
Security – This is the number one concern around cloud adoption for large businesses. By utilising remote cloud-based infrastructure, a company has less control over their information, much of which many be sensitive and confidential. The company is essentially trusting the cloud service provider to manage their private information in a secure manner and protect it from unauthorised users.
According to Gemalto’s latest Breach Level Index, more than 1,500 data breaches led to over 1 billion data records being compromised worldwide in 2014. With any high profile breaches making headlines in the last year, companies cannot afford to compromise on their data security.
Vendor lock-in – As the cloud ecosystem matures many more companies are having a problem with dependency and vendor lock-in. As they become more dependent on their cloud provider it is more difficult to switch to a different vendor. It can be very difficult to transfer large amounts of data from an old provider to a new one if the company does decide to change vendors.
Downtime – Outages and downtime are a possibility with even the most robust cloud providers. While technical issues can be expected in any aspect of business, whether using cloud solutions or not, the downside of technical difficulties in the cloud is that the company has no internal recourse to fix the problems and must rather depend on the cloud provider to solve any issues.