Cloud computing has become an integral part of the digital ecosystem. Ever since its introduction in 2006 by the Amazon Web Services, it has come a long way to provide the ideal solutions to the businesses across the globe. For many, the first encounter with the term gave rise to concerns of security and reliability. The world took its pace to explore the benefits and adopt the technology. However, all concerns which looked serious at one time, have been put to rest. Cloud has come to resonate with the hearts of millions of professionals and businesses who look at it as the ultimate solution to the data storage issues. The technology has reached the steep part of the famous S-curve of any technology adoption and finally emerged as the default platform for new applications with even the legacy applications shifting to it. Although one cannot rule out the challenges of cloud computing there is much more to it which makes it the preferred choice for millions.
Data has become the new currency. Many studies have suggested that data will continue to grow in the coming years. IDC Data age 2025 has presented some stunning facts which might grip your thoughts to the core. It says the global data will touch 175 Zettabytes by 2025. Now if you want to imagine it in real terms, 1 Zettabyte equals 1 trillion Gigabytes. Whoa! Huge isn’t it? Digitization of the world is unstoppable. Pandora’s box is open. So, now you can imagine the potential of growth which lies in the cloud.
So, it will not be wrong to state that whatever has been done so far is merely encountering the tip of the iceberg. The whole magic is still unearthed.
Now, if your grey cells are charged enough and you already have the adrenalin rushing, let's not hold you back from exploring the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.
Future of Cloud
The Gartner Hype Cycle which is often a true reflection of maturity and adoption of various applications and technologies has good news for Cloud Computing. The 2018 Hype Cycle has largely suggested that cloud technology has finally reached the Scope of Enlightenment. This clearly means that the technology is all slated to hit mainstream adoption next.
It is interesting to note that it is undergoing a growth push of its own. Future beholds the synergy which will be created by the integration of the next generation of intelligent technologies like AI, ML, AR/VR, etc. to the cloud. It is this combination of resources which will help the companies to leap-frog to reach a new level of competition.
Gartner has predicted that Cloud Computing infrastructure and applications will comprise the fastest spending category in the IT industry. As per the latest Future of Jobs Survey conducted by the World Economic Forum, 72 per cent of businesses across the world will be adopting cloud computing by 2022.
So, the numbers and facts all give a thumbs up to the Cloud. Now for you to do so, let's introduce logic to the discussion and explore the pros and cons of cloud computing.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Contrary to the fact that you need to know darkness to appreciate the light, in case of technology, the light comes first.
- Cost-Effective: The primary reason behind the shift to the cloud is the cost-friendliness of the technology when compared to on-site storage. This stems from the fact as it does not need any investments on physical investments or any kind of expert for the management as it is handled by the cloud service provider. However, there are some takes here especially in the case of hybrid cloud wherein you need to ensure where the information is stored and the number of resources which are used. The most suitable candidates for the cloud are the volatile workloads especially when he on-premises storage is already working at capacity.
- Unlimited Storage: The most obvious and the biggest advantage of cloud computing is the endless storage capacity which can be expanded on a very nominal monthly fee.
- Reliable and Secure: Data safety and security are primary to cloud computing. Unlike traditional storage infrastructure, the cloud offers a more secure ecosystem and significantly brings down the chances of hacking, malware and even threat from viruses.
- Scalability: Cloud computing allows for increased integration between different areas of business operations. This eases the process of performance monitoring for businesses and also oversee progress and workflow for effective results. Cloud helps integrate various tools like Basecamp, Salesforce, Hive, etc.
- Flexibility: Cloud allows accessing of data or files from any location which is on the web. This comes in very handy in the latest work cultures where many employees are working remotely. In such cases having access to work-related files and documents becomes highly essential.
Now that it is clear why cloud computing is a highly promising technology, it is also important to reflect on the disadvantages:
- Network Dependent: Cloud computing is completely dependent on the network. So there is a dedicated requirement of reliable, consistent and fast internet service.
- Downtime: Any technical glitch due to any reason like a power outage, low internet speed or connectivity, maintenance of data centres can result in downtime which can be really taxing for the business.
- Vendor lock-in: Shifting between clouds can be challenging due to the inherent differences in the vendor platform requirements. Migration can also lead to issues related to support, complexities of configuration and other additional costs. Such transfers often also make the data vulnerable to different security concerns due to compromises and changes made to facilitate the migration.
- Limited Control: As your data is on remote servers managed by service providers, your control over it becomes limited especially for businesses which seek enhanced control over their back-end infrastructure.
Now having a clear picture of the pros and cons of cloud computing, one thing is clear that it is here to stay and continue to make a mark on the technological transformation of businesses.