The development of cloud computing has resulted in a big change in the way in which businesses utilise IT resources. Because of this, many organisations are becoming more flexible, more productive and more collaborative while reducing costs. Keep reading to discover the advantages, disadvantages and everything else you need to know about cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing?
Modern businesses are beginning to capitalise on the innovative cloud computing software which is available today. Put simply, cloud computing delivers computing services on-demand over the internet, or “the cloud”, without the need for direct active management by the user. This term generally describes data centres which are available to users and businesses through the internet.
Examples of the IT services which are available through cloud computing include:
What Are the Advantages of Cloud Computing?
When migrating to cloud computing, many providers will offer you a set of technologies and policies which will strengthen the overall security of your data. Your information, infrastructure and apps will all resultantly stay safe from any potential threats. Due to your data being kept on the cloud, you are able to access it regardless of any damage caused to your devices. You will also be able to remotely remove data from lost devices to ensure that it is not accessed by individuals without the authorisation to do so.
Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. And you can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.
Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
Cloud computing services allow for data to be mirrored at various different sites within the cloud’s network. As a result of this, business continuity is strengthened through disaster recovery and data backup being made simpler. Ultimately this benefit avoids sizeable up-front investment, saves SMEs time and includes Cloud Central’s professional expertise.
The cloud provides far more uptime than regular local IT networks, resulting in a more productive business. As long as you have an internet connection, then you will have access to your applications from virtually anywhere on the planet. Depending on which cloud computing service you opt for, your business may even be able to access certain applications offline.
Increased Collaboration & Accessibility
Increased collaboration is achieved as physically dispersed individuals and business groups can connect virtually and share information immediately via shared storage. As long as you have an internet connection, then you will be able to work and collaborate with colleagues and contacts instantaneously. This will also improve product development and reduce the amount of time it takes to complete tasks and time-to-market.
Scalable & Flexible
Businesses who work within changing markets or are susceptible to growing demands frequently need to scale up or down in response to these changes. Cloud computing facilitates this change through offering a scalable and flexible service. Through only paying for the cloud services which you require, you will lower your operating costs under a more efficient infrastructure.
Automatic Software Updates
Through not being aware of software updates or postponing them due to more “pressing” matters, companies frequently reduce their performance compared to competitors. The latest versions of application will be made available to those using cloud computing as soon as they are released. You can also schedule these to update and download automatically. Software updates and improvements will often be released more frequently when operating through the cloud compared to home grown or purchased software.
With most business operations now being carried out digitally, it is vital that an organisation is able to recover from any form of human error, natural disaster, cyberattack, operational crisis or simple data corruption. Cloud computing offers secure backup solutions for SMEs, to ensure that a businesses’ critical data is immediately restored after any loss.
For example, Datto SIRIS can protect virtually anything, restore anytime and run anywhere. This all-in-one BCDR (business continuity and disaster recovery) solution prevents data loss and minimises downtime for businesses and their customers. You will also be able to schedule regular backups for a device to protect your business’ data from any potential threats.
From both an ethical and PR standpoint, it is vital that modern businesses are seen to be as eco-friendly as possible. Cloud computing services can help improve the eco-friendly operations of your business in multiple ways. Through migrating to cloud computing services, there will ultimately be far less data centres worldwide, resulting in a collective reduction of negative environmental impact.
Unmatchable Document Control
A cloud based system allows for all of your documents and files to be stored on one secure location. These documents will also be filed in a single format to produce consistent data. This is strengthened through all individuals being able to access the same information, having a record of all revisions and also avoiding human error.
What Are the Disadvantages of Cloud Computing?
Just as we discussed the wide-reaching benefits of cloud computing, it is only right that we look into the drawbacks as well. Whilst there are not too many disadvantages of cloud computing, they do exist. However, through working with the right cloud computing provider, your business can minimise or even remove these issues entirely.
Dependence on Internet Connection
This is the major point which businesses think of when it comes to disadvantages of cloud computing. Ultimately, in order to get all the benefits of this service, you must be connected to the internet. You will not be able to send or retrieve files or data on the cloud without this. Therefore, if you experience a drop in internet connection for whatever reason (e.g. during a storm) then you could experience significant downtime with certain providers.
You will require an internet connection to reap the full benefits of this service even if opting for an IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service). It is important to remember that, through working with the best cloud computing providers, you will be able to develop a business continuity plan which minimises any potential downtime.
Cloud computing providers who work with Datto can ensure that, if a business experiences a server failure or drop in internet connection, the protected systems can be virtualized instantly. Datto also uses image based backup to capture a complete picture of a protected server or workstation.
Inflexible and Limited Providers
Due to the growing popularity of cloud computing services, there are now many service providers and operating systems for users to choose from. As a result of this, not all cloud providers offer an equal service. Servers’ storage capacity, bandwidth and accessibility can all vary between suppliers.
Having a cap on any of these services may inhibit and stifle your business’ ability to grow. However, working with a provider who can offer you a flexible package for the highest value, can ensure that your business is given the best opportunity to improve and evolve.
One of the most off-putting factors for many businesses when it comes to cloud computing is in regards to safety concerns. When taking this action, you are essentially entrusting another organisation to keep all of your data secure. Some organisations may view this as somewhat of a leap of faith, as you will need to trust that the cloud computing provider’s data centers are absolutely secure against potential danger both physically and digitally.
Whilst some businesses may initially find this lack of in-house control over their data to feel unnatural, this is actually the most secure way you can look after your business’ documents and information. It is vital that you find a company who you can trust. One of the best ways to build this rapport is by communicating directly with a cloud computing representative who will explain the measures and technologies which lay in place to keep your data constantly secure.
Making a Smooth Transition to Efficient Cloud Computing
Migrating the entirety of your business data can feel like a highly complicated and daunting prospect. Many organisations will be worried that it may slow down their operations or maybe even result in lost data along the way. However, Cloud Central has successfully migrated many UK SMEs to the cloud, at a pace and structure to suit that business.
Cloud Central can develop a personalised and easy to follow road map to ensure that your business are are aware of the process and procedures involved in the transition to cloud computing. Get in touch today to discuss your cloud computing needs.