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Cloud Computing 101 – Benefits and Risks

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Cloud-Computing-101
Today, let’s jump into a little “Cloud Computing 101” discussion. Mr. Piyush Pant walks us through the benefits and risks of cloud computing in a recent CIO article. Here is what he shares:

 

Benefits

  • Economies of scale. Traditional IT is run on its own infrastructure which is costly to scale and grow. Cloud computing allows organizations to grow without the capital expenditures as well as use just what it needs.
  • Agility. Mr. Pant writes, “Most CIOs actually adopt cloud solutions because they can be up and running quickly, not because they are cheaper. A faster realization of business benefits, while reducing costs around internal IT project management, procurement, integration and change management are also key drivers.”
  • Flexibility. Cloud computing allows enterprises to react to changing market conditions. Scaling to meet demand or rolling back when demand is soft and add on services to meet a customer need or improve employee productivity are easily made available through cloud computing.

Risks

  • Control. Many enterprises worry about infrastructure being outside of their hands. “What if the other team fails?” “How do we make fixes?” Mr. Pant points out in his article that the cloud vendor can differ from internal IT in the fact that it has been able to implement “best practices” from a number of customer experiences as well as has the skills specialization necessary for cloud.
  • Visibility. Many enterprises also worry about how cloud vendors handle security and data. A key “Cloud Computing 101”point is the need to know your vendor. Do not be afraid to ask questions and pursue clear answers.
  • Service Reliability. What happens if the cloud service goes down? What other systems will be impacted? Understand your cloud vendors plan and actions to deal with service interruptions and measure those against your business needs.

How does the tradeoff between benefits and risks play out in your cloud computing discussions?