Pros and cons of cloud computing

You are most likely to be already using cloud

There are very few businesses not using cloud computing to some extent, in fact the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study revealed that this represents the model for 77% of enterprises. There are incredible advantages of using cloud solutions and there are plenty of other options that should not be ignored. Here we look at the top pros and cons of cloud computing.

Top 5 reasons to adopt cloud services

According to IDG, the five top reasons for cloud adoption are:

  1. Improving the speed of IT service delivery
  2. Greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions
  3. Enabling business continuity
  4. Improving customer support or services
  5. Lower the total cost of ownership

Difficulties in cloud adoption

However, according to CIO magazine, 77% of CIOs have difficulty in finding and deploying a service that is the right fit. This may be because the business processes cannot adapt, expectations are different to reality, price models do not fit budget or simply that there is not a current cloud service that matches the requirements.

9 reasons why cloud may not be the solution

To help decide if cloud is right for you, you may want to consider the following downsides of cloud computing:

  1. Possible Downtime – Cloud computing is dependent on your Internet connection. When it’s offline, you’re offline.
  2. Performance – you have no real control over the performance of cloud products at any level of architecture. You probably have no guarantees either. Resource-intensive applications are not really suitable for cloud at the moment.
  3. Security – increased complexity of a secure network, consider in flight data. Cloud applications are available anywhere and need to be protected everywhere.
  4. Control – you have handed over the keys to the cloud vendor, they dictate security, upgrades and even data ownership. Depending on the geography, other entities such as Government bodies may have access to your data.
  5. Product version – you may have legacy system requirements that may not be supported in the cloud either now or may be unsupported in the future.
  6. Cost – you will probably be paying for much more functionality than you need. Look for limitations and additional charges for exceeding limits. Cost can fluctuate considerably.
  7. Data transfer – bandwidth, download costs, io operations. Large amounts of data moving around may need special consideration.
  8. Elastic but Inflexible – the potential lack customization can be very limiting and may not fit your business needs.
  9. Support – if you need support, support plans can be costly. No plan may mean no support.

Cloud adoption strategy

It is important to fully understand your business objectives in adopting cloud – is cloud the only why to achieve these objectives? Use the Five Why’s technique to truly identify the reason for a cloud solution, your objectives must be clear.

If cloud is the correct strategy, start small and try cloud as a backup or dev solution.

Potentially consider products such as O365 that can be easier to adopt.

Finally, consider the cloud vendor very carefully. This is much easier when adopting Software as a Service (SaaS) for a new business tool. Cross-vendor migration of SaaS can be much more complex, hybrid architecture and Infrastructure (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS) can be even more complex. Consider what your current support team can handle and what skills gap you would need to cover – if your team are Microsoft guru’s then AWS may not be a wise choice.

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