Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the need of the hour if you want to prove your mettle in the ever-growing global digital market. Storing mountainous data on a centralized cloud server has many advantages for your business. If your organization is into the IT sector, you will have to ramp up your standards to meet the competitive market demands sooner or later. While cloud computing is becoming a buzzword in the IT sector, you must be well-prepared before considering switching to cloud computing. And preparedness here means to familiarize yourself with the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing and its scope.
What is cloud computing?
According to IBM, cloud computing refers to delivering on-demand computing resources and services ranging from applications to data centers over the internet based on a pay-for-use.
In simpler words, cloud computing uses the internet rather than the computer’s local storage to perform, save, and store intensive tasks. Cloud storage is a virtual space created either using one or multiple servers and processors connected remotely.
Different Types of Cloud Computing
Before diving into the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, there are some types of it you need to know. The following are different types of services provided through cloud computing.
- IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service (Networking and Hardware services)
- PaaS – Platform as a Service (Hardware Components, OS, and Application Management)
- SaaS – Software as a Service (Deployment of end-user applications such as email clients virtually)
What are the Advantages of Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing, as said above, needs no introduction to anyone related to the IT sector. There are certain benefits of Cloud computing that 94% of the global internet workload will be processed through the cloud by the end of 2021. As the technology progresses, the value of cloud computing and the services based on it is estimated to reach up to $623.3 billion by 2023.
1. Cloud-based services are cheaper
Since the Cloud computing companies offer clients a pay-per-use service, there is no additional cost of buying anything apart from what you need. You only need to pay for what your company require depending on the size of your data.
Cloud computing also offers Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to the users for access services on the cloud and charging them as per the pay-per-use model.
2. Easy Back-up and Restore Data
Organizations don’t have to use dedicated servers or local data backup services such as tape drives. Taking sequential backup twice a day, daily, weekly, and monthly, is something that every IT professional has to do to save a company’s data.
Recovering the stored data specific to a particular date or month can be a complex task to handle. On the other hand, a centralized location in a cloud gives you much freedom to recover the stored data faster and on time.
3. Accessibility from Anywhere and Anytime
Cloud-based services are designed in such a way that you can quickly and easily access the information from anywhere, anytime in the world, using an internet connection. Given the cloud-based services depend on the internet speed at the user’s end, the faster the speed, the quicker the access.
4. Reduces Maintenance Cost
Centralizing applications, Infrastructure, network, and hardware in Cloud enables an organization to save substantial cost on the setup and maintenance of locally installed components. Everything you do is directly accessed from and stored in cloud storage. This reduces the hassles of recruiting new professionals to take on maintenance activities.
5. High-end security
Large corporations and companies mostly use cloud computing for commercial purposes. Therefore companies managing cloud computing services know better to improve their services and attract clients by serving top-class security against threats.
High-end data security is one of the biggest advantages of cloud computing. Cloud servers are equipped with advanced encryption techniques to ensure that user data is securely stored and handled.
What are the Disadvantages of Cloud Computing?
There are disadvantages of cloud computing, and the obvious one is related to costs. The most obvious disadvantage is that the initial cost to implement cloud services can be quite costly. The cost staggers away further as you subscribe for additional services.
This may be one of the biggest disadvantages of cloud computing. No cloud service provider can guarantee 100% uptime to clients. Accidents can happen, and service outages can lead to data loss (should it happen while millions of users access the cloud) .
Cloud computing architecture is internet-based, which means access is fully dependent on internet connection. Like any hardware, cloud platforms themselves can fail for due to any reason.
2. Security and Privacy
Access to a company’s confidential data and client’s sensitive information to hackers is second of the biggest Cloud computing Disadvantages. By switching to a remote cloud-based infrastructure, a company outsources everything it has.
The cloud service provider is expected to manage and store the underlying hardware infrastructure of a deployment. On the contrary, remote access is something that has to be managed at the user’s end. In any case, no system is perfectly secure, and users will have to evaluate all the risk scenarios carefully.
3. Limited User control
The user is somewhat restricted to have full control over the features and services hosted on the cloud. The limited control can trigger several issues at the user’s end as the cloud service provider has the rights to manipulate or charge the customer as they intend.
Also, no one knows whether the data saved in the cloud is safe or not, as the service provider behind the scene controls it. Of course, none of this will normally be a problem, but it should be considered.
4. Cloud computing Depends on Internet
Be it your end or the vendor’s efficiency, processing, and security, everything relies on your internet speed. If it’s not the vendor’s end to worry about, the concern arises from your end to ensure that everything goes smoothly 24/7. A drop in connection for microseconds leads to loss of valuable user information that can cost you a big capital.
5. It all comes down to costs eventually
Cloud computing is a suitable option for long-term projects and large business models. If your organization processes Terabytes of Data day-in and day-out, there are pricing plans that would fit just about your expectations.
However, if you are operating a small-scale organization or short-term project without needing bulk storage, cloud computing can be a pricey option. Unless you are sure of what works the best, it’s a good idea to experiment with various free cloud storage plans.
It’s always important to compare the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing before you opt for various cloud services, both free and priced. Compare different cloud vendors and their range of services before choosing the right one. Even if cloud computing limitations are almost negligible, the breakthroughs in technology will sort them out in the nearing future.