Published on July 24th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
Is Using the Cloud Really the Best Solution for Your Business?
When the cloud came into being, businesses and public entities jumped for joy. Thanks to this new technology, it was suddenly possible to store data online – and better yet, access it from anywhere. Relatively trouble-free, easy to use, and often capable of providing cost savings for smaller enterprises, the cloud gives businesses the ability to do incredible things with less in terms of technology investments.
Pros and Cons of Using the Cloud for Business
The cloud has evolved since its emergence, and cloud computing will surely continue to change and grow in a positive direction. Like other technology, cloud solutions have their positives and negatives. Here are a dozen major aspects worth considering.
Pros of Using the Cloud
- Analytics are readily available, making it easier for companies to derive insights that allow for targeted customer experiences
- The cloud is accessible from anywhere with a solid internet connection, so it’s easier for entrepreneurs to conduct business on the go, and for others to allow employees more leeway in choosing work locations. Field agents have ready access to important information while handling business at worksites.
- There are no limits to the amount of data a business can keep on the cloud, so long as that business builds associated fees into its budget.
- Cloud integration is scalable in terms of data and cost.
- Collaboration is simple, particularly when working with outsourced talent.
- It is easy to backup and recover data; most cloud service providers make the process painless.
Cons of Using the Cloud
- Security risks are numerous, and companies are subjecting all the data they store on the cloud to the potential for third-party scrutiny.
- Hackers live in the cloud, too. As evidenced by massive data breaches perpetrated on highly respected entities such as Equifax, Verizon, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Education, and a GOP data firm that housed nearly 200 million confidential voter records, cybersecurity should be a major consideration when deciding what kind of information to keep on the cloud. While providers do their best to keep sensitive information safe, hackers work hard to keep one step ahead of the game.
- External threats can come into your company via endpoints with cloud connections. Hybrid clouds help bridge the gap, but companies should expect to pay a premium for the added security.
- Service outages can and do happen, negatively impacting the pace of business. When Amazon Web Services experienced a major outage in 2017, the outage cost the service’s users approximately $150 million altogether. Amazon learned from its input mistake, but that doesn’t prevent outages happening in the future to this or any other service.
- Vendor lock-in can lead to additional costs and prevent companies from enjoying as much flexibility as possible.
- End-user license agreements (EULAs) can place limits on your company’s deployments. Greater flexibility typically incurs greater costs.
Alternatives to the Cloud
Whether your company opts to keep all, some, or none of its data in the cloud, alternatives such as Sapho offer enhanced security while allowing corporations to retain mission-critical legacy systems. The company mentions that 47% of businesses surveyed cite security concerns as their number one reason to continue housing applications on premises instead of migrating to the cloud. Further, it notes that integration with existing systems is vital since many on-premises applications cannot be moved.
Just like the cloud, these alternatives provide personalized, relevant data and information, and they leverage the power of micro apps that allow employees to access information housed onsite. As with cloud users, Enterprise Application users have the ability to access vital information via any device, messenger system, or intranet. Built-in security combines with efficiency and scalability, making alternatives an excellent option for companies with security concerns, critical data housed on-premises, and legacy systems that hold valuable data.
The cloud may very well suffice for now – and in the event that it doesn’t meet your needs, exceptional platforms are capable of taking your business to the next level in a similar fashion. While the cloud is often the best choice for small companies, many larger enterprises – particularly those with sensitive data to protect – find that the risks and expenses associated with a full migration simply aren’t worth it.
Ultimately, you are the one who knows what your company needs in terms of security, user experience, and more. With solid insight based on experience, anticipated changes, and of course the legacy systems and applications your business relies on, you can determine how best to proceed.