While there are a lot of business owners who have questioned the wisdom of entrusting their sensitive data to unknown virtual cloud-based applications, nonetheless, there are more and more organizations of all sizes and segments, who are doing just that with their business data and communications.
This is because earning more revenue, while lowering operating costs, thus improving the bottom line, is forever the economic blueprint of any business. So it is not surprising that organizations regardless of size are adopting cloud computing.
The Main Advantages Of Cloud Computing Include:
• Their capital investment costs (ie: servers and networks) becomes practically nil
• Their on-site maintenance costs to maintain an in-house IT network becomes negligible and
• The solution is practically infinitely scalable to any size as their business expands
And to top it off, these professional ‘enterprise-class’ online cloud based providers are most likely better at securing sensitive data than their own IT staff ever can. Most security experts would indeed agree that the data that’s stored on these cloud based servers is actually more secure than the data that’s residing locally.
So What’s Wrong With Cloud Computing Then?
There may be a few potential issues:
• The most frequent issue for most business owners, data managers or company executives, is that they are not entirely comfortable with the loss of control over their data. If your organization is using some type of cloud-based computing of any kind, you may no longer be able to immediately retrieve a specific piece of information you need, solve a pending problem or reconfigure a system. But instead, you lose control, you have to rely and depend on an outside provider to perform some of these tasks for you. That is not only a loss of control, but also may waste critical time as well.
• There are concerns that it’s not exactly known where your sensitive company data is located, as in a defined place. The definition of “cloud computing” is that your online information is stored on virtual servers that may reside anywhere in the world. The most common explanation from these cloud vendors is that your data is stored securely where the storage is the most affordable, and the most accessible to them. That is where your next vital piece of valuable data is sent to.
Some businesses obviously have a big problem with this, especially if it specifically means that their data can be stored on servers in any area around the globe, that’s not known or disclosed.
• There are also questions being raised about access and speed. Say for example that your company decides to move your entire email system over to a cloud provider. Organizations are doing it all the time, moving from Outlook and depending entirely on Google’s Gmail.
There may be a certain amount of latency that needs to be overcome: Every email sent, every bit of potential critical data, every significant communication is required to virtually travel the entire worldwide route to and from some unknown remote server.
So there is no doubt that the process is slower. But is it being slow enough to be of a concern? That would depend entirely on your ISP, your bandwidth, and your ‘cloud’ email provider. But so far, for the majority of organizations, these minor nuances of these cloud email providers are not an issue.
Out Of Their Control
Yet a bigger concern however, is that at times, these industrial ‘Cloud-based’ servers have actually shut down. Such occurrences of power outages are extremely infrequent and brief, but there is no doubt it can and does happen.
When a power outage of some type does occur, you obviously have absolutely no recourse. You will simply just have no data retrieval or messaging capability. Unless you have built a backup data or email server that you can quickly access and bring online, your business may grind to a halt. However this scenario may be unlikely, but just the thought of such a situation may be enough to discourage a few from seeking a cloud-based solution.