In the last section , we talked about cloud computing and how does it helps to minimize your costs to a large extent. For an entrepreneur, who is willing to put his/her own money on the block, it is not possible to have large resources to manage an IT system.
Hence the best way is to lease some space from the various server space providers and then run your application on it. For e.g. this blog runs on a shared space and it does not cost much to host it.
However cloud computing comes with its own disadvantages when we look at the whole picture. Let us see them one by one
- Cheap means lost flexibility:
- TOS can hurt:
- Security of data:
- You cannot add new features on your own:
- You cannot impose policies:
- Pain of migration:
- You might still need employees:
Let us say, you are developing an internet application which requires a special configuration setting or a special process to be performed. If that is not in the interest of all the users of the server you have hosted your application on, you will probably not be allowed to do that. Your hosting provider may or may not decide to grant you everything that you require for your project, resulting in lost time looking for workarounds.
Let us say, by chance you did something that was in conflict with your server providers Terms of Service, your site might be temporarily disabled. If you did something seriously wrong( based on providers interpretation) you will have a tough time getting the services back online. For example, if a serious spike happened on your site, in the interest of other users, service provider may temporarily block your site.
When you host your application or data at your place, your office or your home, it is your responsibility to keep it secure and you may keep as much security as you can afford. However when your stuff is with others, you have to rely on them for the security and in some cases, it might be not on their high priority list. Your data will travel on internet connection. Unless you have secured it with good encryption, it can be read and manipulated.
If you want a new feature to be added to the business application, you can only request it from your hosting company. The feature may be critical to you but not to the provider company. As a result , you may lose revenue or suffer decrease in productivity.
You want many policies on data usage but it is not possible to do it if your data lies somewhere else. It might affect security of data because unauthorized access may not be easily imposed.
Let us say you do not like your current service provider and you have decided to move on. However, it is not that easy. You will have to perform the same configurations at the new provider’s location. You will have to import all the data into newly setup database and you will have to test the processes once again for correctness. And by this time your site is down leading to a loss of business. It can be a lot of pain to migrate data from one provider to another.
If you thought that you did not have to hire employees to maintain your own server, you are in for a mild shock. You need maintenance at the hosted space too. If you are not technically oriented you will have to ask someone to maintain the site , files and database the same way someone hosting the application on-premise. And it is a cost nevertheless.