This post describes the pros and cons of cloud storage. “Cloud” storage refers to data that resides on removable storage devices and is accessed through servers. Cloud data storage is in a “infrastructure as a service” category.
This has become mainstream and many consumers now use it. Cloud storage has many advantages over traditional document box storage, and I’m not sure why business shouldn’t use cloud storage either. Below are the pros and cons of not being this new technology.
Advantage #1: Disaster Recovery (DR)
Cloud storage reduces the risk of data system failures because all data is stored and backed up on external devices (often thousands of kilometers away from your location). This means avoiding expensive data acquisition following too common hard drive malfunctions. Your cloud provider automates the backup process. Therefore, you do not have to back up your data to an external device yourself. This saves your time and nerves.
Advantage #2: Access your data anywhere
The data is stored remotely and can be accessed in Manchester or Madrid. This is especially useful if your work involves frequent movements, or if your team is in a different time zone.
Cloud storage also supports the collaboration process when teams distribute around the world. This allows employees to easily log in and access the work of other team members, regardless of the location or distance of the team members. With cloud storage, employees can work domestically or internationally, regardless of location or media.
Advantage #3: Low cost
With this you don’t have to pay for software licenses and updates. All of this is in one global monthly fee. Cloud storage also avoids the need to invest in expensive server infrastructure as cloud companies offer this offsite. You’re effectively outsourcing this to your company, so you don’t have to pay a dedicated storage expert in-house. Unlike in-house employees, you don’t have to pay for sick leave or vacation from a cloud storage company.
Advantage #4: Scalability
You only pay for the storage space you need. As your business grows, its operators will be able to meet their growing data storage needs. You can expand the available storage space simply by changing the payment amount. As your business shrinks, you can choose less storage space at a lower price. Flexible payment plans such as” Pay as you go” are widely available. Therefore, this covers all enterprise sizes and needs.
Advantage #5: Security
Professional cloud storage companies typically offer far better data security than small businesses can take advantage of in their own efforts. Cloud storage companies offer password protected data storage. The data is then sent over the internet using encryption technology. This ensures that the highest security standards are meet.
Disadvantage #1: Lack of total control
You cannot manage or customize the data storage feature because the unmanaged company stores data. This can be a problem for large organizations with complex storage requirements. This usually requires a level of customization that cloud data storage companies cannot handle.
Disadvantage #2: Difficult to migrate
Once you`ve signed up and started using one particular cloud storage provider, it is difficult to migrate data to another cloud provider later on.
This phenomenon is famous as `vendor lockin’. Vendor lockin is particularly a problem for medium to large size businesses who store massive amounts of data with one cloud provider. If you run into problems with that provider it may be problematic to switch to another provider due to the sheer size of data and related complexities of making a move.
Disadvantage #3: Requires Internet
When the internet connection goes down, the access to the remotely stored data also goes down. Therefore, if your business relies heavily on it, an internet outage can lead to costly downtime. Also, if your internet connection is slow, you may have to wait a long time to access the data stored remotely.
No cloud provider offers a fault-free service. For example, in 2014, a large cloud storage provider, Dropbox, experienced a two-day outage. This has caused a lot of inconvenience to many of Dropbox’s customers.
Disadvantage 4: Security and privacy have been an issue
Cloud storage means handing over the management of sensitive information to a third party. Before moving your data to a its provider, you need to be completely confident that they can protect your data. In the past, it was famous that companies had problems. For example, in 2014, a security flaw in the system caused Dropbox to leak sensitive customer data. The leaked data included tax returns and mortgage applications. In the United States, the government intelligence agency, the National Security Agency, is known to eavesdrop on data from cloud storage companies. In 2014, Codespace (a large cloud data storage company) was completely shut down after a hacker deleted all of its customers’ data. Another example is “Celebgate”. It did so in 2014 when a hacker leaked a photo of a celebrity from Apple’s iCloud service.
Disadvantage 5: Fixed contracts can be a problem
Some providers may try to get you into a long-term contract. This can be detrimental as it reduces the data storage footprint. In other words, you have to pay for the storage you aren’t using.
While cloud storage poses a potential security threat and may not meet all business needs, we believe that the benefits of it far outweigh the potential costs. Most businesses should consider this tool.
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