5 Cloud Computing Disadvantages You Must Know

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services — such as servers, storage, networking, software, databases, and more — via the Internet. Cloud providers are companies that offer these services and charge for them based on usage. In addition to the basics like sending emails, editing documents, and storing pictures, cloud computing also enables you to create new apps and services; store, back up, and recover data; host websites and blogs; deliver software on demand; and analyze data. There is no doubt your business can reap huge benefits from cloud computing, however there are some drawbacks. Here are 5 cloud computing disadvantages you must know.

  1. When your Internet is offline, your business is offline. Cloud computing makes your business dependent on Internet reliability. If your Internet runs slowly or suffers from frequent outages, cloud computing may not be your best option. Think about how your business would function in the event of a prolonged outage of your cloud services.
  2. Security problems. Is your data safe? Since data security is a big concern, established cloud computing vendors have gone to great lengths to promote sophisticated security systems, but a breach can still occur. Remember that your cloud data is accessible from anywhere on the Internet, so your business could be compromised. 
  3. Cost. Initially, cloud computing may appear to be cheaper than an in-house software solution, but you need to do a comparison. Cloud applications do not require a large capital investment for support infrastructure or licenses, but does it have the same features as the software? Do you have to customize your cloud-based software with certain features? If so, it can be costly. Look over the pricing plans and details of each application while also considering future expansion costs. 
  4. Migration issues. When you select a cloud computing vendor, be aware that applications and/or data formats might not easily transfer or convert your information into other systems. Some vendors attempt to lock in customers by using proprietary software/hardware, making it very costly to switch to another cloud vendor. As your business grows or contracts, make sure you can add and subtract cloud computing users and data storage as necessary.
  5. Limited control. Since the service provider owns, manages, and monitors the cloud infrastructure, the customer has minimal control. Certain administrative tasks such as server shell access, updating, and firmware management may not be passed to the end user or customer. 

If you can live with some of the disadvantages of cloud computing, it's a great way to offload the hassle and costs of IT management. You may want to begin cloud computing slowly, by choosing one or two business applications, to see how it goes.