The term cloud computing refers to the computing which takes place in a shared network, like the internet. Here the word ‘cloud’ is symbolic of the internet. Also called on-demand computing, it involves sharing the required data and resources with the computers on demand. It is notable that these computers don’t work with the local storage or local network, but access all the data needed from the internet. Listed below are some pros and cons of cloud computing.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Improved collaborative work
Since the resources are shared through internet, the working team can comprise of members from anywhere. They need not be in the same physical location. They can access the same documents in real time and make updates without any hindrance. This ensures a better collaborative work.
In cloud computing, all the data and resources are stored in the cloud rather than your laptop. So even if the laptop is misplaced, you can still access the information anytime. There is also provision to delete any sensitive data in your lost machine by remotely accessing it.
3. Clutter free documents
As already mentioned, team members from anywhere can see the documents which are centrally maintained. Previously the same documents had different updated versions. This created a lot of confusion. With cloud computing the same document is being updated by everybody and the changes are saved then and there.
Timely software updates
Cloud computing provides servers which are not stored locally but centrally. So, the suppliers can easily do the job of regularly updating the software. This makes the system maintenance pretty easy for you where you just have to concentrate on your business; the rest is taken care of automatically by concerned people.
The services offered by cloud computing are reliable and available almost all the time. You are provided with a large number of resources which can be accessed whenever required. There are a number of servers available and if one fails, another always comes to use.
The investment for IT infrastructure can be saved if cloud computing is used. As the servers are all stored centrally, you are not involved in its maintenance. All you have to pay is for the resources used. So this service is profitable for both small and large businesses.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Even though cloud computing is in its infancy, it has lesser disadvantages when compared to advantages. Some of them are given below.
There may be times when you need to migrate to another vendor. Even though flexibility is possible with cloud, switching the applications to another platform may cause problems like support issues.
The cloud services are owned and controlled by the service providers. The backend is invisible to the customer who can only work with the applications. Any updates, be it software or security, can be done by the suppliers only. The customer has no say in that.
Requires continuous updates
As mentioned earlier, all the resources are stored centrally. There is a need to regularly update the client database so that there is no discrepancy. Since, the clients cannot be actively involved in this there is a risk of losing important facts.
Prone to service outages
Internet is something which cannot be relied upon hundred percent. Some problem to the connection would stop your work till it is resolved. The cloud hardware could also face service outages for some or the other reason. It is your valuable time that is lost in such cases.
Requires highly skilled personnel
The central storage of the cloud computing service provides a base to a large number of businesses. So the entire infrastructure requires highly skilled staff to carry out maintenance and updates of the database and the client services. This should be done to ensure hassle free service round the clock.