There are two sides to every argument. Love Marmite or hate Marmite? Avatar rocks or Avatar sucks? Similarly, cloud technology divides opinion like Cloud Atlas.
Full disclosure: we are cloud tech evangelists, and we’ve blogged before about the merits of outsourcing cloud consultancy. But while we’re big fans, in the spirit of fairness let’s look at some of the arguments for and against life in the cloudy lane.
Remind me – what is cloud technology?
Before we get our dictionary definitions in a twist, cloud technology is a virtual space where you can store and access data – delivering fast, flexible, on-demand services to you and your people. It’s like The Matrix, but without Keanu Reeves (and lots of other things).
Time is of the essence, so let’s make like a banana and split the pros and cons of cloud computing into two nifty lists.
Advantages of cloud technology
1). Storage galore
Cloud technology is the digital equivalent of opening a closet where you can store your endless supply of boots, baskets and bric-a-brac.
When you ascend into the cloud, your business can say goodbye to filing cabinets and hard drives. Instead, you can happily store all your files, images and encrypted data in the virtual warehouse of dreams.
2). Reduce long-term costs
Sure, no cloud technology service is going to be priced like a tin of beans. But just like a Tesco meal deal, there are savings to be made.
By embracing the cloud, your business can reduce its spend on buying ‘n’ maintaining hardware. What’s more, you can boost productivity and pay for the usage you actually need – especially with pay-as-you-go solutions like Amazon Web Services (AWS).
And if you operate in an industry where losing an audit trail would be a fatal mistake, safe cloud tech storage could make all the difference between a hefty fine and peace of mind.
3). Cloud technology means collaboration
Quite frankly, cloud technology can inspire the best collaboration effort since Eminem met Dido.
Once your business is firmly in the cloud, your people can share, access and edit files from any location where they have a web connection.
These days, teams are increasingly dispersed in a world beyond the Oyster card boundary, so the ability to archive edits, grant permissions and share presentations is worth its weight in granola.
Disadvantages of cloud technology
1). You need a web connection
As we all know, “the internet is down” is the worst sentence imaginable. Apart from “your replacement bus service is delayed”.
A reality of cloud technology is that it requires a solid internet connection for you and your team to operate at full pelt.
However, many cloud applications have an ‘offline’ mode, so while you’ll need the internet to eventually return, you can still work on your precious and not-so-precious documents in the meantime.
2). You need to stay on top of security
Anything that involves storing bundles upon bundles of data will inevitably raise questions around security and privacy. Cloud technology alone won’t prevent every security breach, and there are risks that should be taken seriously:
- Weak passwords
- Unauthorised access due to a misconfigured setup
- Malicious insiders if there’s a fox in the hen house.
That said, if you implement proper policies and controls, cloud technology can be safer than a Volvo EX90. All your files will be encrypted on cloud servers, while the firewall protection can bat away viruses like an Andre Agassi volley.
3). You need to ‘comply or die’
Migrating to the cloud means your business may encounter compliance risks that you were previously unaware of. For one thing, you’ll be transferring the management of data risks to a third party, though you’ll ultimately be accountable for any security breaches.
All of which means you’ll need to get up to speed on your responsibilities regarding the Data Protection Act (the UK’s implementation of GDPR). And of course, you should choose a cloud partner service that takes data compliance as seriously as you do.
The cloud tech-xperts you can trust
Every cloud has a silver something-or-other, and when you join forces with The Possibility Partnership, we’ll get you suited and booted with the best cloud platform for your needs.
Find out more about our glorious team, or if you’d like to learn more about our cloud technology partners, contact us and we’ll chew the fat.