Pros and Cons of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing is all the rage right now so we asked our users to weigh in on the affect Cloud Computing has on our lives and the IT industry. Here's what they had to say...
Seems like our users are happy with the onset of cloud computing so here are a few things to know.
What is Cloud Computing?
The answer to this question will vary, but here are our thoughts. Some analysts and vendors define cloud computing narrowly as an updated version of utility computing—basically virtual servers available over the Internet. While, others go very broad; arguing that anything you consume outside the firewall is "in the cloud." However, cloud computing can be defined simply as internet based computing with shared information, resources and software that are provided in real time to large audiences. The main focus is to extend or enhance IT’s current capabilities through the internet. Cloud computing takes many forms such as: SaaS (software as a service), utility computing, Web services, Platform as a service, MSP (managed service providers), Service commerce platforms, and Internet integration. Cloud computing offers its user services on a demand basis which can vary from very little to a large scale amount. All services and platforms are also generally maintained by the hosting company and not the end user.
What are some of the Cons of Cloud Computing?
Critics of the cloud say that Cloud Computing will lower the need of support and hardware experts in house. If organizations are paying for software and not building within, there may be less technology jobs at any given company. Another con to technology professionals is that if everyone can telecommute, then there is a greater chance of being outsourced overseas. Some jobs that can be eliminated or outsourced include: Support and Hardware Resources, i.e. Network Administrators, Software developers, and Quality Assurance teams.
Another concern to come out of cloud computing is security and privacy of our information. The more places and the more information we feed into the cloud increases the risk of security leaks and breaches that can really hurt a company and ourselves. It also raises the question of how much power the hosting companies have over our sensitive information. There is a real risk of hosting companies using and monitoring our information unlawfully. We can lose the control of our information.
What are some of the Pros of Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing can greatly decrease overhead expenses and make available software and information that would otherwise be too costly to implement or create in-house. Users can also access information from anywhere which can further decrease overhead expenditures for a company.
Cloud computing enables several users to share and access resources and information within a company. It centralizes information and can increase efficiency because of the immediate access to information from all over the world. It also makes available to any and all companies complicated software and technological expertise which can lower the barriers to entry.
The bottom line is that cloud computing is what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities immediately and from anywhere without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software.
Cloud computing is proving to be a powerful and useful tool to corporations, government and personal users and because it is relatively new, the advantages and offerings are changing every day. If you stay up to date on the benefits and the new technologies that come from cloud computing, there will always be opportunities for professional and technological growth, but we will have to wait and see how far the cloud can take us.