Many businesses have moved to the cloud to save money. But are some of them actually paying more than before?
The cloud certainly has its benefits in many cases. When a cloud strategy is properly deployed, businesses can save money while using a scalable, reliable service.
But the cloud certainly isn’t the right answer in every situation. Here are some of the reasons IT should think twice before moving to the cloud:
- Cost — Though cost cutting is one of the primary reasons companies switch to the cloud, the strategy can sometimes backfire. As reported in a recent ComputerWorld article, some businesses find unexpected costs after they switch to the cloud. Experts’ recommendation: If using a cloud service for six months costs the same as owning physical hardware, it’s time to switch.
- Security — Security’s already been a big concern for IT departments that are considering a move to the cloud, and this new survey probably won’t make them feel any better: Nearly half of businesses using cloud services have had security problems in the past year, according to the poll of 1,200 IT decision-makers by Trend Micro.
- Downtime — Cloud providers typically guarantee 99% uptime for their services. That sounds impressive, but keep in mind that the other 1% equates to about 7.5 hours a month.
- Stability — Since cloud computing is a relatively new area, many new providers, including new divisions of preexisting companies, have appeared — and there’s no guarantee they’ll all be around forever. That’s why companies must find out what will happen to their data if a cloud provider goes under.
- Legal concerns — Certain types of data (medical information, for instance) are required by law to be stored in certain ways, which could make cloud computing off-limits for certain applications.
That doesn’t mean businesses should avoid the cloud altogether — just that the companies with carefully planned cloud strategies will be the ones that see the greatest benefits.
Some experts recommend businesses steer clear of the cloud for mission-critical data and applications, and that they carefully study service contracts before working with any cloud provider.