Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Services
Investing in cloud services for your business is a major consideration for organisations in all sectors. Moving to the cloud has become a priority for many who recognise the advantages of this approach but before making any decisions, it is important to weigh up your options and consider the best choice for your business. Like many big decisions, there are lots of elements to consider and here we’re going to look more closely at the main advantages and disadvantages to help you find the best solution for your business.
What Are the Different Types of Cloud Services?
We’ve already looked in depth at the different types of cloud service out there but to summarise your main options are:
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): where a company rents both the cloud storage and remote servers they need from a cloud provider. The provider will also offer access to network functions, dedicated hardware and virtual desktops and machines.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): where a company rents hardware and software tools from a cloud provider. PaaS includes physical hardware and the operating system necessary to deploy and use the cloud application.
Software as a Service (SaaS): SaaS allows multiple cloud users to access their applications. SaaS applications are usually hosted on a cloud server, meaning users do not need to install the application on their device.
Next, let’s explore the benefits of cloud services.
Cloud Computing Advantages
The infrastructure required for the cloud services your business needs is already in place. They may be offering the same or similar services to a range of businesses, so their price point is naturally lower than a bespoke solution. Furthermore, you can connect and choose the cloud services your business needs to create the combination for your business. The right cloud service provider will offer various price plans suitable for different business sizes and types. All services, maintenance and management are included in a single monthly fee so you can find a service to fit your budget with no hidden additional costs.
Security & Data protection
Some organisations are still reluctant to consider cloud services due to security concerns. However, keeping your valuable data in the cloud is often much safer than having it on a single device or network. If your hardware fails, everything in your data storage will be safe. Cloud computing also allows for data encryption across networks and secure storage within databases. You can have the level advanced security measures necessary for your business activity.
Preparing for the worst-case scenario must be built into your business’ plan and this includes disaster and quick data recovery. Cloud services have an infrastructure entirely separate from your organisation which can help you control losses and manage data recovery effectively. Storing your data on-site means that you can’t access if there are ever hardware malfunctions, power outages or offices close.
Flexibility to Grow
Cloud services were designed with scalability and flexibility in mind. Your organisation may need different levels of service at different parts of the economic year or in peak periods. Similarly, you may begin on one plan which is suitable for a small business but as you venture grows, so can your cloud provision. A good cloud service provider can adapt to your business demands, however much your business grows over time.
With no hardware and a simple approach to making things as accessible as possible, cloud services are quick and easy to implement. Rapid deployment is easy as your entire system can easily be migrated to cloud. Downtime is minimal and your business can continue to operate as usual while the migration takes place. Of course, there are some instances where you experience some downtime, but cloud implementation is swift and efficient for businesses of all sizes. This high speed, efficient process can give you the competitive edge your business needs.
Cloud-based applications and services are accessible from any internet connectivity device. This makes accessibility universal, and you can work from anywhere and allow this for your workforce too when appropriate. Working remotely or on a hybrid basis is much more commonplace now and cloud has helped drive this.
Disadvantages of Cloud Technology Services
While cloud services are recognised as the best choice for most organisations it is worth considering the disadvantages of cloud computing, these include:
Cloud service providers own manage and monitor the cloud infrastructure. This can be concerning if you are not used to using third-party service providers. Customers have minimal control over the infrastructure which can be off-putting. You have full control over your data and services on the cloud, but you won’t usually have access to administrative tasks such as firmware management.
While downtime is rare for cloud service providers and often, they have backup services to ensure no issues for their customers there is always the chance of downtime. Cloud providers can face power loss, connectivity issues and other problems like any other company and this is a consideration to keep in mind.
Possibility of Cloud Service Companies Shutting Down
Cloud service companies are businesses like any other and there is always the risk that they may close. If your service provider is considering closure, they should give you fair notice so you can migrate and access data and services in good time.
Being tied into an unsuitable contract is annoying for any service provision and unfortunately you will find cloud service providers that will tie you into 12 months or more of the same fixed service. This defeats the object of the scalable and flexible nature of the cloud and fixed contracts are something that many providers now avoid.
What to Consider When Researching Cloud Computing Services
As the above shows, the benefits of cloud services outweigh the potential problems. This is especially true when you consider the low rates of downtime seen amongst cloud service providers and the move away from fixed contract arrangements.
The government predict the UK cloud market will be worth over £35 billion by 2023, a 73% increase on 2019 but all businesses need to consider their individual circumstances. The trend it towards a cloud-based future and no organisation wants to be left behind or find it hard to compete.
Find the Right Cloud Solution for Your Business with Freestyle TS
Freestyle TS specialise in delivering cloud technology packages to businesses of all sizes, bringing you a range of cloud-based services. Some of these include cloud servers, data centres with enhanced data security, and an overall excellent cloud environment. Get in touch with a member of the Freestyle TS team and we can help you find the right cloud solution for your business’s needs.