By now, we've all heard about the benefits the cloud can potentially offer. From improved accessibility and scalability to increased productivity, it seems the cloud can do it all. But, all of these cloud computing accolades may leave you wondering, "What's the catch?"
It's not just you asking if it's too good to be true. So, let's get to the bottom of the disadvantages put forth about cloud computing, and how they could impact your business.
"The cloud is still new technology"
One often-cited concern is this so-called "new" technology. That line of thinking still exists despite businesses having used cloud environments before they were ever referred to as such. Now, adding on the several years "cloud" has been around, its utilization has only increased.
"The vast majority of organizations today are currently using the cloud."
According to RightScale's 2015 State of the Cloud Report, the vast majority of organizations today – 93 percent – are currently using the cloud. This includes 30 percent solely leveraging public cloud environments, 5 percent using only private cloud platforms and 58 percent with a hybrid mix in place.
By now, the cloud isn't new – and the market will only get bigger. Allied Research predicted that by 2020, the global cloud service market will reach a staggering $555 billion. The cloud has become a staple of corporate connectivity, and will remain so for years to come.
"Security is still a struggle"
Information Age reported earlier this year that many decision-makers still harbor concerns about the security of cloud environments. Overall, nearly half said they were "very or extremely anxious" about the implications of cloud security. In addition, 76 percent said security is still the top concern, and 41 percent think cloud services are "inherently insecure."
Some of these concerns may stem from the fact that, for years, it was common practice to maintain sensitive data within an on-premises environment. Migrating assets to a service provider's environment requires a considerable amount of trust, particularly within regulation-heavy industries like health care and financial services.
However, a cloud environment it is not inherently less secure than a traditional on-premises platform. Many cloud providers specialize in offering services that are fully aligned with industry compliance rules. And unlike internal IT teams, a cloud vendor's main function is the storage, protection, maintenance and upkeep of its cloud platforms.
Company IT teams, on the other hand, have a whole host of other projects on their plates – from rolling out new applications, to troubleshooting existing systems and ensuring the network is operating correctly. These initiatives could be given priority over the company's on-premises environments, taking IT employees' focus. Cloud providers, on the other hand, are completely dedicated to their clients' cloud environments and have the specialized expertise on hand to ensure systems are fully patched and any vulnerabilities are immediately addressed.
"[T]hose who build cloud-based platforms for enterprises typically focus more on security and governance than those who build systems that will exist inside firewalls," industry expert David Linthicum wrote for TechTarget. "Systems built without the same rigor around security won't be as secure."
"Cloud computing isn't right for everyone"
Finally, there's still a belief among some that cloud computing simply isn't for them. This could be for a whole host of reasons, depending on the organization and its needs – decision-makers may believe their company is too small or too new to benefit from the cloud, or that the data they have is simply too sensitive.
Whatever the case, there are types and flavors of cloud available today that can suit any unique enterprise need. From startups needing support for their website, to large enterprises needing Microsoft solutions, to e-commerce companies needing solutions for their online stores, there are cloud resources to fit any pain point and budget. Decision-makers simply need to find a cloud hosting partner with a robust service portfolio that can help create a custom cloud plan just for their business.
Hostway, a leading provider of hosting services, has an array of cloud solutions available, including those mentioned above and more. To create a service plan that works for you and your company, contact Hostway today.