BCG Systems, Inc.

Cloud Computing Pros and Cons: What to Consider Before the Move

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It’s easy as an information technology professional to get excited about new things. But one of my responsibilities with my clients is to be a realist: “After you unwrap the box, what surprises lurk for the shiny new technology you purchased?” Cloud Computing is one of those new shiny tools that business decision makers and technology professionals alike are pursuing. So what’s inside the box?

Cloud Computing promises great things. Can it deliver? I think so. But every system has pros and cons. This was a popular topic in my last executive briefing so I thought I would discuss it more here.

 Cloud Computing Pros:

  • Low cost of entry and replacement
  • Enterprise infrastructure
  • Outsourced maintenance
  • Browser based – access from anywhere
  • Speed of Deployment

What you get:

  • Monthly costs include updates
  • High Availability – typically 99.9%
  • “Not my hardware!”
  • Work or Remote is same experience
  • Reduced costs

If I had to pick favorites, I really like the low cost of entry and the enterprise infrastructure. Who doesn’t want to save money? I sure do. Cloud computing gets you in with a low upfront cost and, over time, lower costs than on-premise. Then imagine if you will, spending millions of dollars on just your datacenter. There is no way we can make the investments necessary to have the same enterprise capabilities as top tier Cloud companies. Those two reasons alone are great Pros.

Cloud Computing Cons:

  • Customization levels vary
  • Requires constant Internet access
  • Feature availability
  • Loss of control

What you get:

  • Mostly one size fits all
  • Few, if any, offline options
  • On-premise is feature rich
  • Outages not always convenient

Part of the reason for lowered costs in Cloud today is tremendous scale which creates the problem with customization. Multi-tenant environments don’t lend well to customized solutions. And I think it’s obvious, but if you don’t have internet access you don’t have access to Cloud resources. Even today cloud companies are racing to add more customization. Currently Microsoft allows non-code changes in SharePoint Online and soon, even code based customization. Probably my biggest con to Cloud Computing is a loss of control. You don’t always have a say on outages. Are these deal breakers? Maybe for some companies and certain requirements, but I think it’s safe to say Cloud solutions will abide by the 80-20 rule. This hasn’t been an exhaustive comparison by any means, but I think most of you will find these simple Pros and Cons will give you the reality check required to make good decisions on Cloud Computing. What pros and/or cons have you discovered with Cloud Computing? Interested in taking a deeper dive into the Cloud? Register for parts two and three of BCG’s cloud computing series that launched on September 9th!

by BCG Systems, Inc

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One question

  1. Thank you for this realistic look at the options. Excellent info.

    [Reply]

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