Should You Jump on the Cloud Computing Bandwagon?

Gina Deveney
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Cloud computing has recently garnered a great deal of interest. Numerous individuals, small companies and huge corporations have already switched over to cloud computing systems. However, there are still plenty of people out there who are hesitant to embrace this relatively new technology. Analyzing some of the advantages and disadvantages of transitioning to the cloud should help you to make a decision based on your company's needs.

The most obvious advantage to using cloud computing is the cost efficiency. Servers, hard drives and software can get quite expensive — especially if you have a large company. Being able to store your big data in the cloud eliminates the need to invest in expensive hard storage. It also means you don't have to worry about upkeep and maintenance. Being able to load software into the cloud and have the entire office able to access it means you're spending far less money.

On a similar note, using cloud storage protects your important data from being damaged physically. If there is a fire or a tornado, you don't have to worry about your information being destroyed. On the other hand, some experts believe that information in the cloud is more susceptible to hacking or corruption. At this point in time, storing extremely sensitive data in the cloud seems to pose some risk. Of course, there are steps that can be taken to protect your big data, but new technology always poses a slight risk until all of the kinks are worked out.

Cloud computing provides users with a great deal of convenience. Your data and software can be accessed from anywhere in the world from a laptop, a remote computer, a tablet or a cell phone. Imagine being on a business trip on the other side of the world and still being able to easily access your company's system. Cloud computing opens up the possibility of expanding your business globally without having to invest in new servers.

The problem that some companies run into is that transferring a large amount of information to the cloud can be a difficult process. Some businesses have been using the same system for so long that using anything else seems incredibly daunting. Switching to a new provider can take a significant amount of time, and for some companies it's just not worth it right now. However, as cloud computing becomes more common, it's important for today's companies to stay at the forefront of modern computer technology to keep up with competitors.

When it comes down to it, only you can choose if cloud computing is right for your business. If you have extremely sensitive data, it may be best to wait until cloud computing systems are known to be completely secure, or take a hybrid approach. There is extraordinary money and time saving potential with cloud computing, and for many businesses the benefits are worth the risks.

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