Cloud computing is creating a big buzz these days, especially after the leak of the Google drive program. Many analysts are convinced that cloud computing is the future and that in a few years most of the software will be hosted on the cloud and offered as a service. As a SAAS company we also hope for this, but there are few drawbacks to cloud computing that might make it a bit harder for you to switch to the cloud. Below are some of the major drawbacks we came across after working with thousands of clients that includes NASA to college students.
Data Privacy and Security
The biggest concern faced by many people, especially by businesses and large corporations. Hosting data on the cloud means your data is stored in someone else’s servers. For critical services like defense systems this is not acceptable and sometimes prohibited by law. With businesses they fear that their data might be seeing by competitors. The technology to secure data that travels across the Internet has grown remarkably in the last few years and they continue to make improvements, but convincing potential customers is not easy.
When you host your data in the cloud you need relatively highs speed Internet access to retrieve and work with those data. High speed Internet access is not a major problem for most countries and in some European countries you are legally entitled to have Internet. But this is not the case with most countries and nobody wants to work with applications that are slow to respond. Internet penetration levels and speed of Internet is increasing so hopefully this problem will disappear in few years.
Working with Large Data Sets
Unless you have a very powerful Internet connections transferring large sets of data across the Internet is a major problem. Majority of the users won’t be affected by this, but for large corporations this is critical for smooth running of their operations.
Integration with Current System
This won’t be a problem if you are straightaway started using a cloud service. But if you are already using some service then transferring that data and learning the new software can be a problem. To be fair, most of the cloud computing services have a small learning curve. The bigger problem is importing your current data to the new system. Cloud services are platform independent but your existing data might only work on certain platforms or perform better on certain platforms. Also there could be platform specific or application specific file types, in such cased exporting that data becomes a major headache.
Dependency on the Vendor
This factors is closely tied with security and privacy, but it is another major concerns faced by potential cloud users. You are dependent on them to keep the data secured, to properly back up data and do the maintenance and upgrades to ensure the smooth flowing of the service. Not every cloud company becomes a success so if the company decided to shut down the service in two or three years you will be faced with another data migration headache.
It’s the Future, But Still Evolving
People are using our online flowcharting software for more than three years now and the signups continue to grow. Mentioned above are some of the problems we have encountered while working with thousands of users. For most of users none of them is major concern, but for government organizations and businesses some of the things mentioned above are critical. The security and privacy issues were one of main reasons we developed our own desktop diagram software on top of our web based service. Finally the advantages far outweighs the disadvantages, so switching to a cloud based system will give you a definite advantage going forward.