There are a number of terms tossed around the business and IT community. Most of them sound something like “big data,” “BYOD solutions” or “cloud computing.” While these words can often be over-hyped, there’s no denying the advantages associated with each of them when properly implemented.
But properly implemented is the key term. No one should believe that by simply adopting a big data strategy, or by switching applications and storage to the cloud, that suddenly every problem will solve itself. Businesses need to think through these decisions and only adopt what makes sense.
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So today, I’m going to play the devil’s advocate and provide you with five reasons why your company shouldn’t go to the cloud:
This topic is on a lot of people’s minds lately, especially given the recent attack on Sony or the leaked celebrity images from Apple’s iCloud. Now that isn’t to say cloud-based solutions aren’t safe. It’s just that relying on third-party vendors may be risky. The best providers will use the very latest in encryption and security technology, but even the most modern systems sometimes fail. If you mistakenly choose an inexperienced vendor, you risk having all your important information damaged, lost, or even stolen. Small businesses stand to benefit the most from switching to the cloud, mainly because cloud providers generally have better security measures than a smaller business can afford for itself. However, larger businesses tend to be the most at risk, especially if they have important, sensitive information that needs to be kept secure.
Cloud storage is just starting to really taking off, meaning the majority of applications in use today weren’t designed with the cloud in mind. Even if these applications have been virtualized, it doesn’t mean they’re ready for the cloud or that they can offer the same level of service as before. If it hasn’t yet, it would be wise for your organization to first determine if it has any business-critical, non-virtualized apps running on its servers.
Cost and ROI
Proponents of cloud storage always point to cost-saving benefits when arguing in favor of cloud-based solutions. Sure, there are many cost savings associated with cloud storage. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll see instant savings. The all-in-cost to migrate and operate applications using cloud-based solutions can be very expensive, even more expensive that your current solutions. Not to mention cloud costs continue to add up over time as you pay recurring fees to the provider. If you have enough startup capital, you could save a lot of money down the road by building your own business network. Long story short, If you’re only considering the cloud to save money, you may want to look into it a little further.
It should go without saying that using the cloud will require a strong, capable network. Businesses will need to make sure they have the speeds and capacity to handle heavier server loads. Otherwise, running your application and accessing documents, as well as other online services like internet use or video streaming, will slow to a crawl. That can prove to be a very frustrating thing for employees, not to mention decrease productivity. Traditional solutions significantly cut down the load your network must bear.
In the same breath at network concerns comes connection issues. When you go to cloud storage, your business is at the mercy of its IT service provider. If the server goes down, you go down. Even today, there are still reliability problems with cloud servers, and even the best vendors will experience it. If your organization is considering moving to the cloud, make sure it has a backup plan ready that’ll help you remain productive during downtime.
Cloud computing isn’t a bad thing and can offer a lot of great benefits. The important thing to remember is to explore the issue. Take the time to understand the technology and study providers with a proven track record. Make sure you understand exactly why you’re switching. Make sure it’s because there are substantial gains that will further your business, instead of wanting to simply follow a trend.
By Rick Delgado | @ricknotdelgado
Bio: Rick is blessed to have a successful career and has recently taken a step back to pursue his passion for writing. He loves to write about new technologies and how they can help us and our planet in particular. Rick occasionally writes for several tech companies, including Dell. His articles are always industry-neutral.