Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing – Can Cloud Services Improve Business?

by Tracy Jackson

Cloud computing is all the rage today.

Businesses are shifting rapidly to cloud computing services because this technology has vastly improved IT infrastructure and modern-day business.

According to Statista, the total size of the public cloud computing market has grown from 87 billion USD to 236 billion USD in the past five years alone!

Cloud computing market size statistic

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Cloud users are becoming more and more aware of the pros and cons of cloud computing and are gravitating towards this type of IT services because it looks promising for the future.

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What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is when IT resources are available on-demand over the internet. You can scale your cloud resources up or down depending on your business processes and requirements.

Cloud service providers offer businesses data backup and storage, along with other cloud services, so you don’t need to invest in physical servers or data centers.

Cloud Computing Solutions

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Cloud computing cuts down costs because of pay-as-you-go pricing – meaning you only pay for the cloud services you use.

Organizations of different sizes use cloud storage and cloud services for many different purposes, such as data backup, disaster recovery, software development, and virtual desktops.

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are all a part of the cloud network and are used for various things.

Cloud technology has reduced the usage of a traditional hard drive or server and has paved the way for a whole new level of data organization and collaboration at companies.

Here are the benefits and drawbacks of using the services offered by cloud computing companies for your business.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Cloud Computing?

A cloud service provider offers data security via the cloud (accessed through the internet network) instead of through physical servers.

Before you consider cloud computing for your business, you need to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.

What Are The Advantages Of Cloud Computing?

1. Lower Cost of Business IT Infrastructure

One of the most important pros of cloud computing for business is that it helps companies cut down costs on IT department infrastructure.

IT Infrastructure Services

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Cloud computing providers store all the data or information related to your organization on the cloud, lowering your cost of IT infrastructure as you do not have to purchase and maintain physical servers on-site.

2. Fewer Management Issues

Throughout the life of your company, you will need to invest a lot of time and money in the management of various team activities, infrastructure services, and other business needs.

Data Management

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With cloud computing, businesses benefit from cloud services technology via the internet, cutting down the cost and other management issues.

This is another one of the pros of cloud services.

3. Accessibility Through Internet Connection

With organizations turning to remote work due to the current pandemic, there is a dire need for robust workflows that enable employees to work from anywhere and any time zone in the world.

Cloud computing has proved to be the best solution for organizations to cross all borders of time and space.

With something as menial as an email address and password, cloud services have helped every team and company store, retrieve, and manage information and applications right from where they are.

A cloud vendor uses servers and cloud services to make data and resources accessible at a lower cost and with the highest technology the business world can ever experience.

Speaking of remote work, here are some reasons why you should consider extending your IT infrastructure beyond the confines of the office building using the cloud:

Remote Working

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4. Data Backup & Disaster Recovery

The best advantage you can have by using cloud services for your business is that all your data is safely backed up and stored securely.

Since your data is stored on multiple servers, your cloud provider will be able to recover your data in case of a disaster.

5. Huge Storage Space

Data storage space is huge when you choose to use a cloud computing service for your business processes.

Since you don’t store your data on local servers with limited capacity but on shared servers with a much greater capacity, you are granted a huge storage space on the server that can be easily accessed through the internet.

6. Automatic Software Updates

Your cloud service provider takes care of all software updates for you. What’s great about this is that all software updates are done automatically with little to no intervention from the user.

That means you are always up-to-date with the latest technologies when it comes to cloud computing for your organization.

7. Unlimited Scalability

Cloud services ensure that you can scale your applications as your business grows. There are no limits to how high or low you can go when it comes to choosing data limits or functionalities for your cloud services.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Cloud Computing?

1. Reliance on Internet Connection And Speed

Just as accessibility through the internet is an advantage, it turns out to be one of the cons of cloud computing as well.

Since data and applications rely on the internet connection, a slow connection will dampen the user experience for all users accessing data and the IT infrastructure through the cloud.

2. Downtime Risk

Another one of the disadvantages of cloud computing is the risk of downtime.

Cloud computing relies on users having a robust and consistent internet connection, and any slowness or lag will result in technical issues or loss in connection.

3. Limited Control And Flexibility Of Infrastructure

Since the company’s IT infrastructure is hosted by the cloud vendor, the company itself has limited control over it.

All applications that are hosted on cloud computing services will have limited functionality and customization. That means even though you can scale up or down the usage of your cloud services, you cannot change the basic infrastructure to suit your business needs.

4. Recurring Cost

Cloud services charge on a rental or subscription basis when you use a SaaS product.

This can prove to be an additional burden as you will have to pay for the service on a subscription basis – either monthly or annually.

However, there are tons of benefits of SaaS that overcome this drawback.

5. Cloud Security Risks

Data breaches are a real challenge for organizations choosing cloud options for their business processes.

Since the information on the cloud is essentially available to all employees using something as simple as their email address, the chances of data being leaked to unauthorized sources are high.

Here are some data breach statistics that further establish this challenge.

2020 data breach statistics

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However, with the right data security measures in place, your business can fully avoid these data security issues while using cloud computing services.

6. Vendor Lock-In

Another disadvantage of cloud computing is cloud service provider dependency or ‘vendor lock-in’ as it is called.

Using a cloud computing service can cause your organization to become overly dependant on the vendor. This makes migration to a different vendor difficult in terms of system usage and data migration costs.

Cloud Storage: Which One Is Better For Business – Google Drive, OneDrive, or iCloud?

Let’s now talk about cloud storage.

In case you’re wondering what the difference is, cloud storage is a means by which you can store files on the cloud for retrieval from multiple devices through the internet.

Cloud computing, on the other hand, allows you to work on stored files as projects. Cloud storage is a part of cloud computing in that you will have to store data on the cloud before you or your team members can retrieve them and work on them.

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the most popular cloud storage services and is used by the general public.

What makes Google Drive so popular is its integration with third-party apps and other Google services. This integration with other apps also makes Google Drive vulnerable to cybercrime. But has Google Drive ever been hacked into before?

The answer is yes. But although in 2014 5 million accounts were hacked into and data was found on a security forum of a Russian website, the passwords were all old and reset by Google.

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Google has HTTPS on all its services and monitors account activity. Google also has two-factor authentication and SSL certificates for added security.

OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft’s OneDrive is another cloud storage service used by many. OneDrive has two-factor authentication at login and data encryption.

Data encryption is done by syncing data on the BitLocker on your hard drive. The encryption is done on a per-file basis, which means that if it were hacked, only that particular hacked file would be in danger.

OneDrive has never been hacked so far apart from user error or weak passwords, so it is one of the most secure.

iCloud

iCloud

iCloud by Apple is a pretty secure cloud storage service. iCloud uses SSL certificates to encrypt data in transit. iCloud also has two-factor authentication during login as well as security tokens for added authentication.

iCloud did get hacked in 2017 when hackers got hold of 50 celebrity accounts and leaked information online.

So, which is the best cloud storage to use? OneDrive seems to be the most secure as of now, but Google Drive and iCloud are no less secure since they are constantly upgrading their security systems to protect user-information against hackers.

Is It Worth Buying Cloud Storage Services?

Cloud storage and cloud computing services are definitely worth investing in for your business as the pros greatly outweigh the cons.

Cloud computing is the future and with the shifting work culture due to the pandemic, it seems like cloud computing is a necessity more than just another option.

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