Cloud computing has been changing the IT industry for more than a decade now. It is the delivery of computing services—including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence—over the internet or “the cloud.” In other words, instead of using local servers or personal devices, businesses can use remote servers and access data and software via an internet connection.
The cost of cloud computing is far lower than a physical tech stack. There is no need for hardware, physical space, and onsite personnel for maintenance. With no need to spend money on infrastructure and setup, cloud computing offers companies a chance to invest the resources in other areas of the company, generating a better ROI with lower risks.
Cloud computing service providers charge on a “pay-as-you-go” basis that allows companies to increase or decrease the resources necessary to operate a business, without paying for services they are not using. Scalability offers the opportunity to adjust the business model as technology changes or the number of users changes. This is something that traditional on-premise infrastructure can’t offer.
Cloud computing allows getting access to data and services wherever there is an internet connection. This means that employees can work across different time zones, locations, and using any device. It’s incredibly easier to access the same document from different places and work on it simultaneously, which increases collaboration, productivity and overall efficiency
The biggest downside of storing data and services in the cloud is security. Data breaches and cyber-attacks happen every day and beyond sensitive data, being stolen, companies can be fined heavily for non-compliance.
Cloud computing allows for seamless and instant access but it heavily relies on the internet. SaaS-based services have a single point of failure which means that if the cloud provider is unavailable, the vast majority of the user base can be affected.
Cloud integration and migration is tricky. Moving a full stack from on-premise to the cloud, and integrating the existing components to the new ones is a complicated task that always creates some conflicts.
Cloud computing has numerous advantages, including lower costs, scalability, and flexibility but there are some inherent risks and costs such as security and integration/migration. With the continuous challenge of managing information system costs, businesses must choose solutions that are right for them.