Tuesday, June 18, 2024

The disadvantages of cloud computing: What to know

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Cloud computing has undoubtedly changed the way businesses operate and drastically increased the efficiency of scaling. Globally, most would agree that cloud services as a whole has only brought positives and that cloud infrastructure is a game changer.

But as with everything, there are downsides. Although not many, there are still some disadvantages of high speed cloud computing and knowing these factors ahead of time can help prepare businesses which are about to make the switch.

Data theft

Most top tier cloud service providers such as Google Cloud Platform have robust cybersecurity in place. But as of recent, we’ve seen that there are no guarantees with anything.

Cloud technology has advanced to a stage where most believe that it’s safer to store company data offsite. Ultimately, whether cloud computing services are a more secure alternative is dependent on the data your business is storing.

For example, a business which has thousands of credit card details in the cloud will want to consider the recent hacks which took place. Cloud based services aren’t immune to being compromised, and it’s up to business leaders to implement best practices if they opt for utilising cloud infrastructure.

  • Ensure all data is encrypted.

  • Incorporate a zero-trust policy.

  • Discuss security options with your cloud provider.

  • Inquire about data theft procedures.

Locked in

Not all cloud service providers operate in the same manner, but many create their services in a method which locks you in with a particular vendor. This isn’t a major challenge when it comes to the disadvantages of cloud computing, but requires comprehensive research.

If you decide to use an analytics tool from one cloud vendor, you may find that it can’t be integrated with your other cloud provider which has all of your actual data. Naturally, all cloud technology companies want their customers to stick to their offerings, which results in minimal compatibility.

The cloud environment is a highly contested space and all vendors want their cloud computing platform to be at the top.

  • Explore cloud providers which have greater flexibility.

  • Inquire if your cloud computing provider offers seamless integration.

Data leaks

All it takes is one mistake from an employee and the data on your cloud services can be leaked. Many businesses – especially smaller ones – quickly commit to a cloud-first strategy due to the renown list of cloud computing advantages.

But the individual in charge of managing the administrative front of your cloud infrastructure must be an experienced worker. It’s a common occurrence amongst entrepreneurs or small businesses to create an account for cloud storage, and not knowing essential practices to follow.

After all, it only takes an internet connection for any regular individual to create a cloud service account.

  • Security must be a core aspect of your cloud computing decisions.

  • Every team-member involved with cloud computing should be trained on security risks.

  • Implement access control – only employees which need to use a particular cloud service should be able to access data.

  • Consider a zero-trust policy across your cloud computing services.

  • Conduct regular audits.

  • Ensure your cloud provider frequently updates their security protocols.

Mismanaging cost savings

Cloud computing is generally the much cheaper option as opposed to purchasing your own infrastructure, especially for the long term.

Cost ($USD) of entry level cloud project

But oversight can become an issue for businesses seeking to use cloud computing for small projects. According too Predica Group, a small engagement project will cost between $10,000 – $50,000.

With a basic entry-level project already costing a considerable chunk of capital, it’s easy to see how several infrequent projects can quickly add up to a major price tag. Cloud computing advantages truly shine when implemented on a long-term basis and when businesses opt for a cloud-first strategy.

But when used on for small scale projects on an infrequent basis, the disadvantages of cloud computing become apparent.

  • Select the right storage type.

  • Remove inactive/unused services after identifying idle resources.

  • Set budgets.

  • Right-size your services.

Internet connection & dependency

If all of your data is reliant on cloud computing, then you must have an impeccable internet connection. Most businesses will have no issues with their internet, but in the current age of remote work it can quickly become an unforeseen challenge.

Remote workers are reliant on their own bandwidth and any downtime which can occur as a result of technical issues or local network maintenance will stall work. Cloud computing is resource intensive – albeit not your resources – it requires consistent bandwidth, so be sure to check if your remote employees have reliable internet.

  • Employees which constantly work with cloud computing technology should always be onsite.

  • Ensure employees have consistent and high speed internet before providing remote work privileges.

Lack of support

Other than Google Cloud Platform, there’s a reoccurring theme of minimal support amidst technical issues. Consistent uptime is one of the cloud computing advantages but what happens when you run into an error?

Most businesses don’t have the time to wait for an email response to a query and end-up resorting to forums for advice. If you’re waiting to restore data and cloud providers are unable to provide instantaneous support, then you’ll be waiting for a while.

Adopting cloud technology is not straight forward and often requires reporting bugs to support cloud computing companies.

  • Consult with your cloud provider on the options available during a technical outage.

  • Inquire if there’s 24/7 phone support.


Do cloud computing advantages outweigh the downsides?

Without a doubt, yes.

While there may be some downsides they don’t outweigh the positives. Cloud computing has accelerated the technological realm and bridged the price gap for small businesses in accessing technology.

Cloud computing has given birth to the cloud-first strategy which has become a major trend amongst majority of businesses. And the Google Cloud Platform has give businesses an avenue in acquiring all the tech they need in a seamless and integration friendly system.

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Arsen Armstrong

Arsen Armstrong

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