For many businesses, the decision to move their servers to the cloud seems like a no-brainer. They can save money and devote the energies of their IT staffs to other concerns, such as hardware. However, there are disadvantages associated with cloud computing.
Some drawbacks, such as potential legal issues, are obvious. However, there are some disadvantages that business owners may not have even considered.
With cloud computing, accessing your company’s data may be an area for concern. It’s one thing to have archived records from several years back stored on a remote server. It’s quite another thing to have mission critical data stashed away where it cannot be readily accessed in a timely fashion. Even archived data poses the potential for access problems.
Depending on the storage method used by the remote server, you may lose access to your data altogether. For instance, if your company upgrades its computer systems, the storage system used by the remote server may be incompatible, requiring expensive and time consuming conversion to access needed data and files.
One reason cited for the move to the cloud is reduced expense. It’s true that cloud computing removes the need for your company to maintain its own servers. However, many remote server companies charge their customers by the amount of bandwidth they use. If your company has heavy bandwidth demands, your savings by opting for cloud computing may be nil. Likewise if the confidential nature of your company’s data requires you to contract for dedicated server space.
Stuff happens. Servers go down. If your server goes down, you can dispatch troubleshooters and repair teams immediately. If a remote cloud provider’s server goes down, you have no control over when service will be restored. Storms, transformer blowouts, natural disasters and other events that knock out power for your company’s remote server can put your company out of commission for hours, days or even weeks.
Lack of Support
Your company may have a dedicated team of IT experts whose primary responsibility is keeping your computer equipment up and running. Lacking that, you may contract with a company to provide those services for you. If you move your server functions to the cloud, you no longer have responsibility for maintenance, but you also no longer have control, either. Many cloud servers have limited customer support; in many cases, users are forced to rely on user forums for responses to server problems.
Legal and Security Issues
If you are considering cloud computing, you may find that your provider stores data in another state – or outside the country. Depending on the nature of your company, you may run into legal difficulties by using company’s that use remote servers for cloud computing customers. Some jurisdictions do not allow companies to store sensitive or confidential data outside the location of the company.
Security is another concern. Leaks or viruses targeting the remote server used by a cloud computing company could open your business to possible adverse legal action. Companies that opt for cloud computing must be sure that the company’s servers are properly encrypted.
What you can do
If you’re thinking of moving to the cloud, it’s definitely worth thinking about what could possibly go wrong. And yourself, and potential cloud service providers, what to do about these potential problems.
Guest post contributed by Yogesh Mankani on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis.com – find out more info on their hosting reviews. Yogesh is a freelance tech writer. He enjoys consulting businesses on their technology needs and his articles mainly appear on tech blogs.