Whilst much of the online world is singing its praises, there are some disadvantages of cloud computing and it is worth your while considering these.
1. Lack of control. Whilst cloud companies do employ skilled and bright people if something does go wrong you are in their hands and you may feel helpless if the problem is not resolved quickly.
2. If you have everything in the cloud then you require internet access; lose that for any reason, and you cannot access anything. Have a slow connection? Then it can be really annoying.
3. Security and data protection. It is obvious from my research that this is a big concern for cloud users so I’m going to look at this separately.
4. For many businesses their online activities are critical. By going into the cloud you are giving this over to a third party. Choose a provider very carefully. Ask for testimonials from businesses that you can make contact with and speak to. Use your business contacts to find out the providers who are delivering in this very important area. Do not short cut this step.
5. Check the terms of service for the provider and check them thoroughly. Get your legal people to check them too. Ensure that you are fully aware of what you are getting into.
6. If it does go wrong, how easy is it to transfer the service to someone else? You may not want to think about this but it’s important. As an example, what happens if the cloud company goes bust?
7. Hosting data in another country can put you under their laws which, I’m sure may be fine for most companies, however, think about it……………….
8. Look at the costs thoroughly and get your financial people to look at the costs too. Often the biggest saving in using the cloud is in not having to make the initial outlay, the set up costs, but when you consider things such as depreciation over time and other things that only really clever financial people understand, then you may get a different picture! Also are the costs fixed and are they likely to increase from your initial figures? Let’s be honest; in business, how often do things come in under budget?
9. What applications are you going to be locked into using? Do you have flexibility?
10. A well written SLA, or Service Level Agreement, is a must. It should state exactly what level of service you can expect to receive and what happens if it goes wrong, for example, if you cannot access the cloud. It should also stipulate the response speed to support requests. This is the part when you forget the fancy advert that drew you to them in the first place and tie people down so they know exactly what you expect and what you are paying for.
11. At the outset, some companies have such vast quantities of data to load that it can take forever (or maybe it just feels like that!). You may have to upload it to disks and send it to the data centre.