Cloud based technology first started gaining popularity in the early 2000s, but it has evolved exponentially since then. In fact, you are probably utilizing it even if you don’t realize it. If you use LinkedIn, Constant Contact or operate on an iOS platform, you’re using cloud technology. This technology has become more prevalent as each year passes and is now being used by businesses all over the world.
With the increasing availability of cloud based technology comes the increasing question of cyber security. Is it really safe to have all of your information passed into a third party’s care? Below are some advantages and disadvantages to consider.
Some companies may use the cloud as a backup platform allowing them to recover quickly from any unforeseen problems. For companies that use it as their primary platform, data recovery is even more likely.
With physical hardware and servers, updates are few and far between. Cloud based technology updates are automatic and much more frequent.
Lower Capital Expenditure
You no longer need to purchase expensive hardware to be stored and maintained in your office. Cloud technology offers subscriptions and usually comes with a standard IT support system.
Storage within the cloud is flexible, and you only pay for what you need. It is easy to increase or decrease storage size as your company grows or downsizes. Cloud systems also allow for flexibility in employee access, allowing people to work from anywhere with no limits in data availability.
Cloud systems reduce the problem of lost laptops or equipment since they offer the availability to wipe devices remotely. It also allows small businesses a higher level of security they may not be able to afford otherwise.
Security and Privacy
The biggest disadvantage is that nothing on the internet is 100% secure. You surrender your information to a third party when you use cloud technology, and if a data breach occurs, everything can be compromised. Cyber security is the biggest concern with cloud based technology.
You need to have a strong and reliable internet connection in order to work with data in the cloud. If your connection goes out, your data will be unavailable until you’re back online.
While inexpensive at first glance, the more customized you make your subscription, the higher the cost will be. There also may be additional costs associated with the transfer of data.
Rigidity in Applications
If you don’t research all your options prior to choosing an application, you may be stuck with one forever. Some cloud systems make it very difficult to switch platforms after signing up. Make sure you always retain ownership of your data when signing up for cloud usage.
Basic customer support is usually included, but can have slow response times. Most of them do not take phone calls and only communicate via email. It can also be very expensive to add on, or upgrade, per month.
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