Cloud computing has revolutionized the way companies use the computer system. Hardware is no longer purchased or operated in-house. Instead, XaaS (X-as-a-service) models are used. Software development services are rented on the basis of hardware and virtualized operating systems . Cloud computing makes it possible to store and process data, as well as host applications and interfaces. In short, cloud computing offers many advantages, but it also has some disadvantages.

Advantages of cloud computing in economics

For many organizations, the immediate benefits of cloud computing are economic . There are also other advantages, which we will discuss below. It is always advisable to weigh the pros and cons of using the cloud. When considering the economic advantages, one must distinguish between using a public cloud and a private cloud . The first can be used immediately without large acquisition costs. The second, on the other hand, requires an investment to create its own structures.

Better products and services

For most companies, technology is a means to an end. Actual products and services are usually not technological in nature. For these companies, the ideal is for technology to become invisible. The cloud makes this possible.

The use of cloud computing allows companies to pay less attention to technical aspects. In this way, all the effort can be applied to the main tasks of the company . This translates into better products and services and greater efficiency. A greater proportion of the resources used directly contributes to success.

Imagine a large bakery chain. You may need IT capacity for logistics, sales, marketing, etc. Instead of operating your own servers or data centers, using cloud resources can be a good option. The exception is companies dedicated to technology . For these, it can be positive to build and operate their own resources. Still, private cloud solutions can also be attractive today.

Greater flexibility

The use of cloud computing allows for greater flexibility. The necessary IT infrastructure is immediately available and can be expanded as needed. In this way it is easy to act immediately on possible improvements and risks. Traditionally, investments in IT infrastructure in a company led to a new permanent technological state. This continued for quite some time, since large investments had to be made to implement new custom software development services.

Cloud computing allows changes to be applied more quickly. Companies can adapt to the market without having to plan, approve and build infrastructure . By eliminating these long and costly processes, technology directly serves the implementation of the strategy.

Lower costs

The use of cloud computing usually reduces costs. This is because the acquisition and operation of IT infrastructure is largely eliminated . It is only necessary to acquire “thin clients” for employees. In most cases, any modern device with a web browser is sufficient. Saving on own hardware is accompanied by a rationalization of IT staff. Additionally, the focus shifts away from maintenance and network technology to more direct employee support.

Cloud services scale based on load. Therefore, there is no need to maintain the company's excess capacity. Whether renting additional servers or increasing existing ones, this is all done automatically or with one click. The use of cloud computing is especially attractive for new companies. Saving on your own hardware reduces the initial capital needed . A new company may initially rent infrastructure and services on a small scale. As the company grows, the services purchased can be expanded.

More sustainability

When used to the fullest, cloud computing also brings sustainability. Sharing large data centers in the cloud is more efficient than managing individual data centers in individual companies.

Large data centers have better options for waste heat management and on-site power generation . As an example we can consider the data centers in Iceland that use geothermal energy. It's also easier to recycle old equipment when purchasing new hardware. In general, the use of virtualization reduces the need for individual devices.

Advantages of cloud computing in organization

The economic advantages achieved through the use of cloud computing apply to the entire company. But there are also many benefits within the organization. Digital technology is the backbone of communication and data exchange in companies like custom software development company and others.. Cloud computing allows departments and employees to work together faster, more reliably and easily.

Consistent data management

With cloud computing, organizations try to achieve consistent data management. The term “data” has been on everyone's lips in politics and business for years. Decision makers often wrongly assume that more data automatically leads to more profits. However, data is only useful if it is managed sensibly . Otherwise, you'll be left with a lot of not-so-useful data. Without sound management, data is more of a burden than a benefit.

The intelligent use of cloud computing helps to apply uniform solutions throughout the company for storing and evaluating data . On the contrary, using isolated organic solutions can easily lead to chaos. Different data management approaches used in parallel tend to accumulate large amounts of dark data . This data, which exists outside of intended systems and processes, is a liability.

Largely, web-based formats, user interfaces, and APIs are used to manage data in the cloud. These are usually based on open interfaces. In this way, it is clearer what data is located where and how it is accessed. However, for optimal data management, employee participation is essential. No technology, no matter how sophisticated, can replace well-defined processes and good documentation.

Best collaboration

If data and services are hosted in the cloud, access is usually through web interfaces . This makes it easy to access for employees working from anywhere. Whether it's field staff, people working from home, or digital nomads, they're all using the same web-based workflows and tools they're familiar with. If necessary, a company-owned virtual private network (VPN) can be used as an intermediate option.

The basic tool for accessing cloud-based services is the web browser . Only simple hardware is needed for its operation, even a tablet can be enough. Mobile devices are cheaper, easier to maintain and more portable than traditional desktop computers. Most data is stored in the cloud and not on the device itself. Cloud storage often creates automatic backups and revisions when data changes. This reduces the risk of employees inadvertently causing information loss.

Advantages of cloud computing in security

Security and data protection are important issues in the digitalized society. The use of the cloud is usually advantageous in this regard. However, precisely this idea is difficult for many people to understand, because the cloud is “invisible.” Where exactly is the data located? Viewed objectively, the cloud offers numerous advantages in terms of security and data protection . As always in computing, it must be taken into account that “there is no magic”. The advantages of technology demand that it be used with attention and care, also and especially when it comes to the topic of cloud security .

Greater data security

Data has become a highly contested commodity. Criminals are dedicated to stealing data to misuse or sell it. In addition to the users directly affected, the companies involved may also be harmed. There are significant fines as well as legal consequences . Many times, the worst consequence is the loss of customers, a tarnished image or the loss of customer trust due to data leaks and hacks.

Large cloud providers use resources to protect themselves from hackers and other attackers. They use their departments with the best specialists and the latest technology, aspects that a small company cannot achieve. Another advantage of using the cloud is the standardization and certification of the systems used . If you build your own infrastructure, you have to certify it in a very expensive way. This makes subsequent system adjustments difficult, as the certification process may need to be repeated.

Better data protection compliance

Since data is invisible, data protection is often a difficult issue. The company is always responsible for protecting the data collected. The best ways are to build data protection into the structures from the beginning . A laudable goal, but a big job for one company. It is easier to rely on established cloud systems.

Cloud providers' systems are certified according to official standards. Providers go to great lengths to ensure compliance, with their own legal department and technology and security experts . This guarantees a high degree of reliability.

More reliable disaster recovery

In computing, the term “disaster recovery” refers to a rescue process: if a catastrophe occurs, how do you return to the original state? With the cloud, disaster recovery is usually easier, faster and cheaper . What was previously only possible for large companies is now available to the general public.

Cloud providers rely on globally distributed systems. The data and services are available in multiple copies. This means that there is no “single point of failure” , that is, there is no Achilles heel that takes down the entire system. Thus, even if a server or data center fails, there is usually no permanent loss of data or capacity.

The intrinsic scalability of cloud services allows rapid response to failures . Backups integrated into the infrastructure allow data to be restored.

Advantages of cloud computing in technology

In addition to the economic and organizational aspects already mentioned, there are also purely technological advantages. Ultimately, the cloud is based on technological progress . Thus, the technologies used also determine the opportunities.

Optimized big data management

Big data management poses serious challenges to organizations . When we talk about big data , we are effectively talking about large amounts of data. It can easily be a petabyte (thousands of terabytes) or more. Cloud computing offers many advantages in these cases.

Capturing, storing, processing and retrieving large amounts of data requires special infrastructure. The implementation of this system is very expensive for a company. In many cases, it is more attractive to use existing XaaS solutions from large vendors. A characteristic of big data is that it often integrates large amounts of data in a short time. Therefore, it is very important to be able to easily increase storage and computing capacities . This is usually only possible with cloud solutions.

Better DevOps

Another type of specialist is involved in modern development projects, in addition to programmers and project managers: the so-called DevOps engineers. The main goal of DevOps is to provide and maintain in place the structures for the development and operation of software . The use of cloud technologies is essential for this.

The development of cloud computing took place alongside the fusion of approaches for its development and implementation . Above all, emphasis was placed on container-based virtualization. In this way, the software is developed in a local environment and subsequently executed in a distributed system in the cloud. The basic technologies are similar in both cases. With the cloud, however, the approaches become more powerful and, above all, can be expanded.

Passionate developers often want to use the latest technologies for their projects . However, traditionally the obstacle was that the necessary structures had to be created within the company first. This obstacle largely disappears when using the cloud. This makes it easier for companies to stay up to date. This is an attractive advantage that helps accelerate development projects and attract talent.

What disadvantages does cloud computing have?

Like any technological innovation, cloud computing also has disadvantages. If the services and infrastructure are rented and not exploited by the company itself, there is a dependency on the suppliers involved . For companies focused on technical products, the loss of control this entails may not be beneficial.

To some extent, vendor lock-in approaches protect against the dreaded “infrastructure as code . ” This means that it is still possible to change providers or move to your own private cloud. In so-called multi-cloud and hybrid cloud, systems and data are distributed across several private clouds and public clouds . This helps reduce dependence on individual providers and maintain sovereignty over one's own data.

Cloud computing provides businesses with an unprecedented level of flexibility. However, keeping up with technological development also creates great pressure . New methods and approaches are constantly added. The technology used today may become obsolete after a few years.

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