Advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing: The cloud has changed the way consumers and businesses interact with the internet, software, and data storage, and it’s something that won’t change any time soon. Roughly more than 90% of companies use the cloud in many ways.
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Importance of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a term used to refer to storing and accessing data over the internet. When using cloud computing, no data is stored on your PC’s hard drive. You can access data from a remote server at any time when using cloud computing.
Before diving into the pros and cons of cloud computing, it’s important to remember that cloud computing isn’t just one thing. It covers about three different areas, they are:
a. IaaS – infrastructure as a service
b. PaaS – Platform as a Service
c. SaaS – Software as a Service
Although the pros and cons of cloud computing tend to apply to all three areas, their importance varies depending on which area you focus on.
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Advantages (benefits) of cloud computing
We would discuss the benefits of cloud computing.
1. Cost Reduction: There is a principle of finance that we all know, and that is profit comes from making more money than you spend. Despite striving to make more profit than you spend, anything computer-related doesn’t come cheap. So when it comes to cloud computing benefits, these top the list for most businesses.
If business owners use good servers instead of cloud computing, the good servers would cost users thousands of dollars just for hardware. Without the hardware and software maintenance that is routinely performed. You will also need a secured room to set up the system. If such a space for storing hardware does not already exist in the building, one must be built on site. Also, the servers elsewhere require a constant cooling system to function properly. So get ready for your bills to skyrocket due to air conditioning costs.
All of this spending could end up with a company going broke because it bought all the software licenses for high-end programs. With the use of cloud computing, it solves these problems for the companies. Cloud providers take care of the infrastructure, utility management and server maintenance.
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2. Security: Regardless of some data breaches in the cloud, many have argued that cloud computing is more secure than on-premises computing. One of the things that tops the list of cloud computing is that cloud providers need to be under more scrutiny and conform to established standards.
On the other hand, companies have an obligation to protect their customers’ information, which they adhere to as far as their own power extends in relation to cloud computing. Data stored in the cloud is less prone to being stolen by an employee. It’s much easier to steal information from employees or companies when you have physical access to the computer it’s stored on. Cloud computing bridges the gap between potentially disgruntled employees and your data.
The cloud providers, knowing that their business depends on their ability to provide their users with a secure channel, will make it a duty to always update their security protocols and ensure their software is up to date. There’s a good chance the cloud providers will have full-time staff specializing in digital and network security, which many independent companies can’t afford.
3. Reliability: Unless a server’s hard drive is backed up in a Redundant array of independent disks (RAID), In the event of a hard drive failure, all data and the server-based applications would be immediately unavailable and could eventually be lost. This can be compared to a nightmare and is actually called that. However, this does not occur when the company uses cloud computing, as clouds survive redundancy. Data in clouds is not only stored on your PC or your server, but on several servers.
It also depends on the cloud providers as some providers can even store the files on servers in multiple locations. Just in case they run into a problem in a specific location as not all servers crash at the same time.
This simply means that not a single hardware failure will destroy your company or alter the way you do business. It also means you can go to sleep with your eyes closed, expecting excellent reliability when accessing your services or data. Most cloud providers guarantee 99.99% uptime.
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4. Excellent accessibility: Cloud computing allows users to easily store information and access that stored information from anywhere in the world simply by connecting to the internet. The cloud increases a company’s productivity by ensuring that its data is easily accessible anytime, anywhere.
5. Unlimited storage capacity: Another benefit of cloud computing is that it offers unlimited storage space as much as you can afford and this storage space could be used to store videos, documents, audios, images, software and many more in one place.
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Disadvantages (faults) of cloud computing
1. Downtime: This is probably the biggest disadvantage of cloud computing, when we talk about downtown it’s not about servers downtown, it’s about the failure of your personal internet access. As long as you don’t have an internet connection, there is absolutely nothing you can do with the cloud available to you.
However, with enough data plans you can reconnect to the clouds, of course these are limited and mobile devices don’t stay on all the time as they have limited battery life. I’m sure you would have bigger concerns than reconnecting to your cloud services when the power goes out.
2. Security: You may be wondering, didn’t I just mention security as one of the benefits of cloud computing? Yes, I have, because security is both an advantage of cloud computing and a disadvantage.
Imagine this scenario, you have a security system and surveillance cameras that activate when you lock the door, but to ensure your home is secure you need to lock your door to activate the security systems. This means that with the doors unlocked, your home is not secured and will be opened to anyone who wishes to enter.
With cloud computing, the blame mostly lies with the user, who is the weak link in all security systems. If you don’t take proper security measures, your cloud could be likened to a sandwich left in the park. Therefore, security can be a disadvantage if the user decides to be careless about their security and allows outsiders to invade their cloud.
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3. Cloud service closes shop: Unlike companies that have been around for a very long time, cloud computing is a very young industry with many companies competing for business. There’s always a chance that cloud providers will run out of money and eventually go out of business forever.
Now think of cloud computing as a warehouse that you have stocked with goods. Once these goods have been stored there, it will be difficult to move them from this position to the other. Now imagine how it feels to lose all the goods in the warehouse when the owner of the warehouse goes bankrupt. This is exactly what happens when a cloud service shuts down shop.
4. Limited Control: It is not news that cloud infrastructure is fully owned and managed by a service provider, giving the owner less control over the files, functions or even the running of services within the cloud infrastructure.
5. Performance may vary: When working in a cloud environment, the application running on the server provides information and resources to other companies at the same time. This means that any attack on your tenant could affect the performance of the source you are sharing.
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Finally, when considering the pros and cons of cloud computing, it is important to note that cloud service providers are very much responsible for all the pros, but not all of the cons.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a law student and certified mediator/arbitrator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with skills in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel strives to transform the legal profession by developing web and mobile apps that make legal research significantly easier.