Although there is generally a lot of praise given to cloud computing services, it does not come without it’s distinctive down sides. Like all business decisions that have to be made, you often have to take the good with the bad. However, it’s important to take both the pros and cons of a new service into consideration before deciding if it is the right option for you.
As mentioned in previous blogs, a cloud computing system refers to a service which enables companies to host both their website and data over the Internet on a virtual server. These servers are then managed and maintained by cloud hosting providers. Although it offers features such as accessibility from a range of devices, flexibility and low barrier of entry among others, the potential of cloud computing’s disadvantages overshadowing these is hard to ignore.
The Main Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Many experts in web development have discussed the potential drawbacks of using a cloud computing system and host provider for your website and data over recent years. There are six main disadvantages that have been recognised and have caused companies concern.
- Server downtime – No cloud provider can guarantee that you won’t experience service downtime, which means you won’t be able to access your data or files. As cloud computing is completely dependent on Internet connection, if that goes down then your cloud services will too. It’s important to ask if your company is capable of dealing with prolonged periods of frequent service outages or slow downs.
- Security and privacy issues – When it comes to dealing with data especially if it is sensitive data, how safe and private it is will always be a concern for companies. Although a cloud provider will have security procedures in place in order to ensure that your data is managed and safeguarded in the correct fashion, there is a risk of hackers. In today’s digital age, hackers are continuously trying to find ways of hacking into cloud providers systems and therefore, cloud computing services will never be 100 percent secure.
- Data ownership and transparency – Often times, companies may feel that isn’t a lot of clarity surrounding the ownership of data. Once data is uploaded to a cloud computing system, does it become ownership of the cloud provider? Another issue that arises is that of data transparency. Companies may question how their data is being handled and wonder if their data is being compromised.
- Inflexibility – Some cloud computing providers may catch a company out by insisting that the cloud provider’s applications and formats are used. For instance, they may have a condition that a company can only upload data that has been created in a certain application programme. As the cloud provider has sole ability to manage your cloud service infrastructure, this ultimately gives them the decision power on how your data should be handled.
- Lack of support – Compared with other hosting services and providers, cloud based services offer little to no customer care support. Cloud customers often find it difficult to communicate with cloud providers via phone or email and resort to online forums for answers to their queries.
- Cost – Finally, unforeseen costs is another disadvantage of this service. Although cloud hosting rids the need of having an on-site infrastructure, in order to get the most out of the service it is often important to make sure that you are paying for every feature needed by your company. This is where a cloud computing service can become expensive.
A company can ensure that none of the disadvantages listed above will hamper their business by taking the appropriate precautions before entering into an agreement with a cloud provider. Firstly, make sure that the cloud hosting provider has the correct security and protocols in place in the event that their service experiences downtime or a breach in security. For any other concerns, express these with a cloud hosting provider before hand so you know exactly what you are signing up for.
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