Cloud computing is growing and is set to become integral to how many companies will manage their data. However, while cloud computing will continue to have a significant impact on how businesses operate, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
“For SMEs, cloud computing is not simply going to be a magic bullet. Each business is different, with its own needs.”
Cloud computing is not just a case of throwing away your servers and software and fully embracing a brave new world”
“IT solutions should be bespoke to the user, which may involve a combination of applications, cloud and otherwise,” Lee suggests.
Potential Issues With Cloud Computing
People have different comfort levels, and some businesses are more cautious than others. Therefore, for some SMEs, the best solution may be for them to use cloud applications for some purposes but not all.
“If you wholeheartedly embrace the cloud, you’re then heavily dependent on a reliable, consistent internet connection,” warns Lee.
“Even the most reliable service providers suffer outages,” says Lee. “If the cloud is offline, then so is your business. You must consider downtime as a risk.”
There is also the question of security. Cloud data is accessible from anywhere on the internet, so should there be a breach, either through carelessness or malice, it could have serious consequences.
“There are advantages to the cloud, offering better security than you might afford otherwise with your own servers, but you must decide if this offsets potential risks, and gives you enough confidence to make it the right fit for your business”
Some cloud apps are more flexible than others when it comes to tailored solutions, so it is important that businesses understand what will best suit their requirements.
There can also be mounting costs in some cloud applications associated with data transfer, so any business regularly downloading large amounts of data must consider this.
Is it All or Nothing?
“SMEs can benefit from integrated business computing solutions, that carefully pick aspects of cloud computing but combine them with a more tailored, individual approach,” Lee emphasises. “In effect, a hybrid.”
“You don’t have to commit totally to the cloud,” Lee concludes. “It has its benefits, and can be truly cost-effective for certain aspects of business, such as disaster recovery, server capacity and managing applications. However, the best computing solutions are the ones that serve your specific needs.”
For an accompanying read, please visit 5 Common Business Uses of Cloud Computing