Clouding computing : It may hurt you where it matters most

by Ashvini on December 20, 2010 · 3 comments

in Business

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.

Risks with cloud computing

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

  1. Cheap means lost flexibility:
  2. Let us say, you are developing an internet application which requires a special configuration setting or a special process to be performed. If that isĀ  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.

  3. TOS can hurt:
  4. 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.

  5. Security of data:
  6. 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.

  7. You cannot add new features on your own:
  8. 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.

  9. You cannot impose policies:
  10. 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.

  11. Pain of migration:
  12. 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.

  13. You might still need employees:
  14. 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.

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Aswani December 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

Great post Ashvini. Well, cloud computing is a buzz today. So much is being said and written about the same. It is quite revolutionary and Yes, as you said in this post…the cons are obvious as it is with any other technology. I have been using cloud services like Google Docs to do what I used to do with the MS Office. And to be very honest, I am truly satisfied with the same. I think if we are talking about it in terms of an organizational perspective, a thing like cloud computing does not appear to be the right option. The cons are likely to make one’s business suffer in the long run. I would better not go with it as I don’t find it secure enough.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena December 21, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Thank you once again for your comments. Its wonderful to get another perspective from an actual user of ‘Cloud’. I think it is a risk, if all of your data resides on the cloud server. One false move and your site / data is dead. Keeping the backup of data is essential as you are the owner of data and not anyone else. In today’s world however, the companies are arbiters of right and wrong and if you do not have a back up plan you are dead or will be in coma at least for a long time.

Aswani December 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Yes…agreed !

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