The three downsides of cloud computing

By: Richard Smith

Date: 7 November 2013

The three downsides of cloud computing/thunderstorm{{}}Cloud computing has had a huge impact on business technology in recent years. It is capable of offering on-demand computing power, email services, collaboration tools, disaster recovery systems and security, often at a lower cost compared to on-site hardware and software.

The cloud is still growing fast, but before your company embraces it wholeheartedly, it’s worth looking beyond the hype to check out the possible downsides.

Like most technologies, the cloud does have some disadvantages. Here are three important ones.

1. Availability

When using cloud computing services you are heavily reliant on the availability of your internet connection and of the cloud service itself. Investing in a robust internet connection with a backup will ensure things are reliable at your end.

It’s also important your cloud provider’s servers are located in more than one data centre. This ensures they can continue providing you with access to files and data, even during problems at one of their data centres.

2. Security and privacy

Who can access your data? Is it safe on your cloud provider’s servers? Could it be stolen?

Every reputable cloud provider should meet all relevant data protection legislation and operate robust, encrypted networks. But even if you’re confident about your provider’s security precautions, the biggest dangers may lie elsewhere.

More specifically, those dangers may lie within your own business. Because using the cloud will enable your staff to access company data from anywhere, you need to work harder to make sure it stays within your business.

3. Accountability

Moving to the cloud does not mean liability falls into someone else’s hands. You still have full responsibility for your business operations, yet using the cloud means you’re effectively outsourcing some of your IT systems.

It is vital that you have a contingency plan to overcome any potential risks. For instance, how would you cope if your internet connection failed or your cloud provider went bust?

Get professional advice

If you’re considering a move to the cloud but want to proceed with caution, it’s important to seek a provider that can offer you advice and solutions tailored to your business.

It can be a good idea to identify a supplier that offers IT consultancy, support and traditional in-house expertise alongside cloud services. Moving everything into the cloud at once isn’t usually practical, but you can strategically move services when it’s right for your business.

This is a guest post from Leia Solanki, Marketing Executive; Tegen Ltd

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