The Benefits and Drawbacks of Doing Business in the CloudAugust 17, 2011 1 Comment
The “cool” factor of Cloud Computing became apparent long ago, even before people started downloading videos onto Facebook and YouTube. It is a useful tool, not only to the consumer for recreational purposes, but even more so to the new business owner who is trying to get their business up and running quickly without having to purchase servers and hardware or outsource staff. Cloud Computing is a somewhat new model with recognizable benefits, and proportionately fewer drawbacks.
Perhaps the most prominent benefit of moving your business to the Cloud is the opportunity it provides for saving money. Since there is no set limit to how much or how little you can invest in the Cloud, and most Cloud providers bill at a monthly rate, you can adjust your spending according to the growth of your business. It is not necessary to spend time and money setting up a server, nor do you need to hire a tech team, so your savings increase in those areas as well!
Still, there can be drawbacks to Cloud Computing. As Todd Wasserman points out in his article The Pros and Cons of Moving Your Business into the Cloud, “The downside of the cloud is that, just as with other utilities, when it goes down, you’re fairly helpless. This point was illustrated on a grand scale when some of Amazon Web Services, the online retailer’s cloud computing arm, went dark in April, taking down HootSuite, Reddit and Foursquare, among others.” Alternatively, he says, “Such outages, which, aside from price, appear to be the biggest knock against cloud computing, don’t have to be crippling. Your safest bet is to build redundancies into your systems and applications, which is the cloud equivalent of backing up your hard drive.”
There is no question that Cloud Computing can be more than beneficial to businesses trying to get off the ground at a low cost and high efficiency rate, but it is important to do a projected cost-benefit analysis before investing in the Cloud. The key is determining an accurate estimate as to your computing needs and investing accordingly, not too much or too little.
-Amy Duryea, CEO, IT Briefcase (a Virtual Star Media company)CLOUD COMPUTING