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Is the cloud the best solution for every small business?

Ben Dyer | July 10, 2012
Cloud computing is currently one of the most talked about topics for many business, for a large percentage of whom it is the perfect solution.

Cloud computing is currently one of the most talked about topics for many business, for a large percentage of whom it is the perfect solution. For a startup, low costs and simple entry are appealing features -- while large corporates have the clout to mould cloud services to their will. However there is a third, multi-million pound market for which the cloud may not suit. Visit: Business Advisor.

For mid-market online companies, though, all that glitters definitely isn't gold. The cloud can become a nightmare for security, data privacy and more -- and many are returning to standalone self-hosted solutions to bring control back into their own hands.

The complexities of choosing a cloud provider are numerous -- issues such as security management, attack response and recovery, system availability and performance, the vendor's financial stability and its ability to comply with the law all need to be considered. But should your business even be thinking about moving to the cloud at all?

The answer is yes and no, if you're a very small company and you don't have many resources at your disposal, cloud solutions are appealing because they generally require minimum capital investment are low-cost and low maintenance. Because of cloud services, small start-ups can have access to resources that would have previously only been available to much larger operations.

For the same reasons companies that are growing quickly are also be attracted by the scalability offered by cloud providers. The difference for them, however, is that they have something to lose, And, relying on the cloud has its drawbacks too. Just the other weekend freak weather conditions on the east coast of the USA caused problems for Amazon Web Services (AWS), meaning that popular services such as Instagram and Netflix were pushed offline for a number of hours.

This isn't the first outage AWS has suffered, either, with a lightning strike at its Dublin datacentre causing havoc late last year. Though outages that affect services such as Instagram are bound to hit the headlines even if there is only a short period of downtime, smaller companies using cloud providers have much greater exposure to this kind of risk. If your company's website is knocked offline, how high up your cloud provider's list of priorities will it be to get it fixed?

 

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