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Pros and Cons of Moving to the Cloud

As a business owner or leader, few things are more frustrating than dealing with problems that come up over and over again. I’m getting a weird error; did you apply the server patch it’s asking about? I want to work from home; can you get me on VPN? I need the latest version of (fill-in-the-blank software); can you get me an upgrade? I’m out of email storage space, can you add more for me?

While cloud computing is unlikely to solve world hunger or stop tsunamis, it can handle a lot of your more pressing business technology situations very quickly. Granted, there is some concern about cloud-based solutions, since you’re effectively “renting” them instead of purchasing a software package, but this concern is often outweighed by the benefits of moving to the cloud.

Cloud Software Pros

Many different types of cloud-based software exist, but three of the most widely used are productivity (Office 365), email (hosted Exchange Server) and creative (Adobe Creative Cloud) programs. While each of these programs has its idiosyncrasies, what they do share is the ability to quickly and easily add or remove access for individuals without their having to touch their physical computer, and the flexibility of having access to software both at work and on their home offices or laptops as well. Office 365 takes that a step further and gives you web-based access to Windows apps as part of your Office 365 subscription. Updates are often handled by the user’s machine, and your technology staff doesn’t even have to intervene.

Cloud Storage and Backup Pros

One of the biggest pet peeves of today’s mobile workforce is that users don’t have access to the file that they need — whether they’re at work, at the coffee shop, or around the world. File recovery is a big issue as well; if something accidentally gets deleted, users want to know that they can retrieve it quickly. A huge benefit for technology teams is that having cloud-based backup and storage generally means they no longer have to spend time on server maintenance, adding patches, upgrades and more. Tech teams can also quickly deploy cloud-based solutions to a new employee or update access with only a few clicks — instead of hours spent loading new software on a PC from CD-ROM.

Cloud Security Pros

When your business is heavily regulated, you need to know that your servers are in compliance at all times. Off-loading this concern to your cloud provider gives you peace of mind, knowing that someone is constantly monitoring servers and applications to ensure that they’re as secure as possible against the new threats that crop up every day. Disaster recovery can be faster as well, especially if you have a well-mapped and tested DR and business continuity plan in place with multiple redundancies and fail-overs.

Cons of the Cloud

While it’s easy to see the pros for all types of cloud-based technology, you can always find some cons as well — and they tend to comprise security, productivity software and even backup and storage. Some of the disadvantages include:

  • Technical issues. Even the smallest glitch in a widely used program can have users scrambling for alternatives.
  • Security. It’s always important to know your vendors, but when you’re passing all of your organization’s most sensitive information to them for safekeeping, you really want to do your due diligence.
  • Malware attacks. This is technically both a pro and a con of cloud computing. While nothing on the Internet is completely secure, cloud computing does add a layer of physical security just because it is remote and has multiple redundancies.

While cloud computing doesn’t solve the problems of the world, it might be able to provide you as a Maumee, OH business owner with the knowledge that your interests are being protected by a team of knowledgeable professionals. When you’re ready to start or continue moving your business to the cloud, give CPU, Inc a call at (419) 872-9119 or drop a line to info@CPUonline.com.

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