The many pros, but some cons, of cloud computing

Among other things, cloud services include more automation features than a typical on-premises data center, which enables organizations to reduce the layers of employees often involved in tasks such as allocating new infrastructure.

Jeff Rowe | Sep 27, 2017 02:47 pm

"Most companies, not just industry market leaders, are at least thinking about moving all of their applications to the public cloud.”

So said Robert Christiansen, vice president and cloud adoption practice lead at Cloud Technology Partners, a cloud services and software company, in a recent article at TechTarget.  But as IT writer Paul Korzeniowski rightly points out, while public cloud is gaining traction because of its flexibility and cost, the technology is not suited for all applications.

To help stakeholders weigh the pros and cons of cloud computing before they migrate, Korzeniowski lays out a checklist on both sides of the ledger for IT managers to consider.

On the plus side, he writes, “with public cloud, a business avoids large upfront capital costs associated with on-premises alternatives. Rather than fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars for servers all at once, public cloud enables companies to spread their IT expenses into ongoing, monthly payments.”

After all, in-house servers are expensive and have capacity limits, and Korzeniowski reminds us that “Keeping a data center current requires manpower as well as money. Staff needs to manage system performance and secure network connections. With technology evolving at a rapid pace, corporations find themselves scrambling to find and hire qualified workers.”

Put your IT systems in the cloud, however, and staffing challenges and hardware expenses are dramatically reduced. 

On the other hand, there are some cons to the cloud that organizations need to understand.  For one thing, Korzeniowski writes, “some workloads fit better on site. In fact, Uptime Institute found that despite the recent cloud hullabaloo, the percentage of applications running in corporate data centers has remained constant at 65% since 2014.”

More specifically, the fact is that “cloud moves applications and information out from central data centers -- which often are located in the corporate office -- to remote locations. The change often affects performance.”

Despite some potential drawbacks, however, chances are pretty good most organizations are going to end up with at least some of their IT programs in the cloud. To help organizations determine how much services will cost, Korzeniowski says public cloud vendors offer pricing calculators, which some organizations have found helpful.