Pros and Cons of using Cloud Services
When companies decide to outsource their IT support, a common source of concern quickly arises. Most ask: “Can this business survive and thrive utilizing Cloud services?” Even though most major businesses have moved to the Cloud. The thought of doing this can be intimidating, especially if you are used to running your business in a brick-and-mortar model where your hardware and servers are located “in-house.”
In reality, you use the Cloud every day though you may not realize that’s what you’re doing. For example, every time you use a mobile device to check your online bank account, you are using the Cloud. A simplified way to look at all of this is to think about when you use the internet to access applications rather than accessing them from software you downloaded to your computer. Cloud-based applications can keep your life simple and uncluttered.
From an IT perspective, there are many positive reasons to work in the Cloud. Here are five key reasons to use the Cloud:
- Cost of infrastructure: You don’t need to make large investments on hardware, or spend the time managing that hardware. You have access to the resources you need, when you need them, and you only pay for what you’re using.
- Scalability: If your company’s needs are fluctuating due to rapid growth or downsizing, you can quickly scale your Cloud capacity up or down as needed.
- Disaster recovery: Hurricanes, tornadoes, fires or flood waters create havoc on your business. Working in the Cloud gives you peace of mind that your data will be available from any computer, anywhere you are.
- Collaboration: Whether team members are working remotely or at the office, Cloud-based workflow increases productivity by allowing them to make updates and share documents in real time with one another. You won’t have downtime because someone is waiting for an email containing a critical document.
- Increased security: If your computer is stolen, your sensitive data is vulnerable. Using the Cloud provides security, especially since you can access your files remotely. Plus, you have the added benefit of being able to quickly turn off access to sensitive files on specific computers. Having files stored centrally also eliminates the need to send confidential documents back and forth as email attachments. Finally, the Cloud backs up your data securely with multiple layers of redundancy, so you don’t have to worry about a server crash and losing your data.
However, the Cloud does come with a few challenges. Not all applications play nicely with each other. For example, if you’re using Windows and want to use a Google app, you’ll find that there is a seamless interface. This can be dramatically different if you are working on an Apple operating system. For example: if you want to sync your contacts from your Gmail account to your Apple mobile device. You will need to take extra steps that include using a third-party bridge to create an exchange sync.
From an IT perspective, this creates another possible point of failure. It’s important to be able to communicate and explain to your clients that these apps and programs have been designed to make life easier, but they can also make life harder if you’re not using them properly.
In the end, the benefits of working in the Cloud far outweigh the negatives. So, if you haven’t already intergraded your systems to a Cloud-based services, this could be the perfect time to take that step forward.