The Pros and Cons of Using Cloud-Based Applications

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Applications are truly changing our world and transforming the way we do things. Inspired by remote working, the market now has an app for almost any task.

Behind this surging popularity, there’s an evolution happening. Most businesses are now switching to cloud-based applications. And as we speak, it’s estimated that over 81% of organizations have at least one application running from the cloud.

There are many reasons why businesses are flocking to the cloud, including reduced IT costs and faster responses to the changing environment. Still, many businesses are hesitant to go the cloud route for reasons ranging from cloud application security to the unfortunate possibility of downtimes.

So, why should you move to cloud-based applications? And why might this be a bad idea? This post covers the advantages and disadvantages to expect when making the switch to cloud-based apps.

Advantages of Using Cloud-Based Applications

It’s Cost-Saving

One major reason most businesses embrace the cloud is the cost savings that come with it. Cloud-based apps save money in various ways, but the most commonly mentioned is the reduced setup and maintenance cost.

With cloud computing, businesses don’t incur the high cost of setting up the server room. Everything from purchasing the equipment to maintaining, upgrading and replacing them when necessary is transferred to the vendor.

Another way cloud-based infrastructure saves money is by eliminating the need for large storage. Because hardware is stored off-site, small businesses can maximize the available space and cut energy expenditures while they are at it.

Even better, cloud-based services are significantly cheaper because payment is on a pay-as-you-use model. This means that businesses pay only for the resources used.

Altogether, these savings typically result in lower operational costs and higher returns.

Gives Businesses a Competitive Edge

In today’s cutthroat market, organizations can’t afford to relax and continue relying on stone-age systems- not now, especially when customers can freely shop around.

To thrive, enterprises must stay ahead of the competition by maintaining regular communication with existing communication and getting to potential customers first. Essentially, cloud computing is about getting to the market quickly.

Because off-site servers are accessible 24/7, teams can access the data from any internet-enabled device anywhere in the world. This would make a major difference, especially for employees who have to work remotely or while traveling.

Similarly, customers can access on-demand self-services and get real-time feedback quickly. This is important for enhancing customer relations, creating repeat business and attracting new customers.

Brings Greater Flexibility to the Business

An important lesson that the pandemic has taught those in business is to remain flexible. Flexible organizations can quickly adapt to new changes in the environment to overcome unanticipated obstacles.

Cloud-based computing adds flexibility to the business in various ways. For instance, the cloud is among the key enablers of transitioning from traditional corporate structures to remote offices.

Cloud computing also promotes “bring your own device (BYOD).” This movement embraces mobile technology, which helps keep employees charged up and willing to participate when introducing new changes.

Makes Scalability a Simple Process

Scalability is another key reason why organizations are switching to cloud solutions. Scalability in computing refers to quickly increasing or decreasing IT resources to adapt to demand changes.

Businesses already into cloud computing can scale up or down quickly because their architecture is virtualized. Because the vendors already have a massive amount of hardware and software resources, organizations can add or drop VMS without delay.

Cloud scalability is cost-saving in that businesses don’t have to purchase machines that they won’t be using regularly. Cloud scalability also adds convenience to your operations by eliminating the time needed to set up new resources.

Disadvantages of Using Cloud-Based Applications

While the future is bright for cloud-based applications, they are not without issues. These are the key disadvantages of cloud computing you should know about before making the switch;

Server Downtime and Slowdowns

Cloud computing entirely depends on the internet. If it’s down, then your operations go down with it. This is often cited as one of the major risks of cloud computing. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable even for the best vendors in the market.

Cloud outages may be due to various reasons, some within and others out of your provider’s control. Common causes of server downtime include blackouts, cyberattacks and typical technical issues within their infrastructure.

Downtimes don’t happen often. But when they do, you need to have plans to minimize the impact.

Data Security and Privacy Issues

Cloud computing has a lot going for it in the fast-paced business world. But whenever a new technology involves handing over business-critical files and customer data, it’s natural to question whether this is the best move.

Of course, big cloud service providers often have more advanced cybersecurity systems and procedures than on-premise data centers. IT experts agree that information stored on the cloud is several folds safer than local storage.

But let’s not forget that no cloud storage can be 100% secure. The 2020 SolarWinds Breach by Nobelium reminds us that even the most sophisticated systems are just as vulnerable.

When selecting a cloud computing service provider, ask what server-level security systems and procedures they have in place.

To Cloud or Not?

So, when pretty much everyone is going the cloud route, should you follow suit? In the end, the choice is yours to make.

Answering these questions correctly can make it easy when deciding to make the jump:

Why are you moving to the cloud? Involve all the key stakeholders to determine whether switching to the cloud will solve the business problems.

Will cloud computing save the business money? Although cloud computing can provide astronomical cost savings, it’s not automatic. Businesses ought to position themselves well to achieve these benefits by proactively reducing dependency on traditional data centers, reducing labor and overhead costs and increasing automation.

How will moving to the cloud impact your data security? Before migrating, ensure that your service provider’s data security controls align with your policies.

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