Cloud computing technology is allowing businesses to scale on a massive level. However, as this technology advances, there is also a growing skepticism around it. Cloud service providers at times fail to take appropriate regulatory and data protection measures. Companies end up spending large sums of money on data security. They also expend time training their employees to use cloud integration services and manage their cloud footprint. Let’s understand the disadvantages of cloud computing in detail and how they impact businesses.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is defined as an Information Technology (IT) model that provides on-demand hardware and software services to customers. One of the most remarkable features of cloud computing technology is that the services can be accessed anywhere and at any time. Irrespective of the customer’s location or device. It allows businesses to avail computing services like servers, storage, software applications, and networks over the Internet. Moreover, requiring minimum interaction between businesses and cloud service providers or third-party vendors.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a disruptive technology that offers businesses several benefits like scalability, flexibility to set up and manage their IT infrastructure, and pay-as-you-use models. However, there are also several disadvantages of cloud computing that pose challenges to businesses. These include:
Businesses receive cloud computing services only through the Internet. When there is an internet outage or weak connectivity, services get interrupted and this increases downtime. Therefore, one of the major criticisms of cloud computing is its high dependency on the Internet.
2. Security and Privacy
Data security and privacy threats are other disadvantages of cloud computing. According to a survey, nearly 98% of companies using cloud computing services experienced at least one data breach from 2020 to 2022. Inadequate cloud security measures lead to data leakage over cloud networks which can result in intellectual property theft, contract breaches, and malware attacks. Hackers can also control how companies provide services to their customers or end-users. This leads to a loss of business opportunities and a decrease in revenue.
3. Vulnerability to Attacks
Private clouds are considered the most secure for businesses in terms of data security. However, the cost of setting up private clouds is higher in comparison to public, hybrid, and multi-clouds. Therefore, many businesses prefer public, hybrid, and multi-cloud computing services. As these clouds provide services to multiple users over the same network, businesses become vulnerable to cyber attacks which can lead to data loss or data leakage.
4. Limited Control and Flexibility
In public, hybrid, and community clouds, all cloud computing services are completely managed by cloud service providers. This offers limited control and flexibility to customers, restricting their access to various services and applications. Therefore, many companies enter into a separate end-user license agreements to gain control of the cloud’s services and applications.
5. Vendor Lock-in
Vendor lock-in refers to a situation where companies using cloud computing services of a particular vendor are unable to switch to a different vendor. This usually happens because of high switching costs, large amounts of data which is difficult to migrate, and several other complexities. In case of vendor lock-in, companies are forced to receive services from a particular vendor. This affects their operational workflow and efficiency.
6. Cost Concerns
Costs are both a significant advantage and disadvantage of cloud computing. While it helps small businesses avail quality services without investing large amounts to set up IT infrastructure, it can also increase expenditure for companies as there are several hidden costs involved which emerge at a later stage. These include data transfer, cloud utilization, and data migration costs.
How are Businesses Impacted by These Disadvantages?
While cloud computing facilitates seamless operations, at times companies also end up incurring unnecessary costs, losing confidential data, and spending a lot of time dealing with cloud footprint—all due to one or several disadvantages of cloud computing.
Companies that store and process the personal data of their customers have to ensure strict data security frameworks as many countries have stringent data privacy laws. In the case of data breaches, companies end up incurring huge losses and lose customer trust. Therefore, many companies are expressing their concern regarding cloud regulatory compliance. As they cannot rely entirely on the security frameworks of cloud service providers, companies are forced to opt for additional data protection and compliance measures that significantly increase their annual costs.
The cloud computing footprint available on the Internet also makes companies vulnerable to attacks. Cloud footprint provides a map of how a particular company is using cloud services over the Internet and its strategy. Hackers can track the cloud service footprints and attack cloud servers, leading to confidential data leaks. This challenge is more prominent in public data clouds where multiple users are available on the network, and several third parties are involved.
Exploring a Career in Technology
According to the Future of Jobs Report, 2020 by the World Economic Forum, a large number of organizations in various industries have adopted cloud computing technology, despite these advantages. It is emerging as one of the most valuable tech skills, particularly to use this technology effectively. It is thus an ideal time to build a career in cloud computing and Emeritus’ online technology courses can help you advance in this profession.
By Sneha Chugh
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