Over the last decade there’s been a big push toward cloud computing in offices. Many major software brands, like QuickBooks and Microsoft Office, have been taking their products online to take advantage of cloud-based capabilities.
The benefits of these browser-based applications are many, but along with the pros, there are also some cons that keep some companies from making the switch to a cloud-based solution.
But you don’t have to go “all in” or “all out” when it comes to cloud computing. At Technology Visionaries, we help businesses in New Jersey save money and improve efficiency with cloud-based solutions in the areas of their business where it makes sense.
Do I have to switch everything to the cloud?
There’s no reason you can’t get the best of both worlds, using cloud solutions where they best fit your company and staying with legacy applications for areas where they don’t. We’ll explore the pros and cons of cloud-based programs how to integrate their advantages where it makes sense to boost productivity.
What are the Advantages & Disadvantages of Cloud Applications?
While some companies are all onboard when it comes cloud adoption, others are wary and take a more measured approach.
According to The Enterprisers Project, a 2018 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey showed that while not all companies invest the same amount in cloud technology, a majority of them recognize its benefits.
70 percent of organizations say they’ve made significant or moderate investments in the cloud.
Why do some companies switch to the cloud while others hold back? Here are some of the pros and cons going into that decision making.
Advantages of Cloud-Based Solutions
1. Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
If all your software and data is stored on devices at your office, in the event of a natural or man-made disaster, or even if your power goes out, your company is effectively closed for business.
A big benefit of cloud solutions is that they host your applications and data on secure servers that aren’t on your premises, ensuring business continuity should a disaster happen at your location. In the event that you can’t work from your office, you can login to your programs from anywhere and recover your data onto another device.
2. Team Collaboration & Flexibility
Statistics show that when people work on projects as part of a team, they’re more engaged and stay on task longer. Cloud-based applications allow employees to collaborate, share files, message, and video conference easily, giving them the ability to feel more engaged.
Since applications can be accessed from any internet-connected computer, you also have the flexibility to work remotely from home or a hotel on the road, as easily as if you were at your office desk.
3. Cost Savings
Many organizations find they can get more computing power for their dollar with cloud-based programs. They don’t have to buy or maintain their own server and can easily add or remove users instead of having to pay for multi-license software that can’t be changed once installed.
4. Mobile Solutions
With more of today’s work being done on mobile devices, applications that allow you to go from desktop to tablet seamlessly can increase productivity. Most cloud solutions are designed for use on multiple devices, whether you’re on a smartphone, laptop, or at your main computer.
Disadvantages of Cloud-Based Solutions
1. You Need a Good Internet Connection
You have to be connected to the internet in order to access cloud-based solutions. So, if you are in an area with poor or spotty broadband service, this can mean that your programs are excruciatingly slow and it’s difficult to get work done.
If your router happens to go out, that can make it impossible to get much done until connection is restored.
2. Security Questions
While most well-known cloud solution providers make security a top priority with encryption technology, used of multiple servers, and physical security at their datacenters, there is still fear of handing over all your sensitive data to another company for safe keeping.
3. Locked Into Subscriptions
If you buy an off-the-shelf version of Microsoft Office, you have it forever (even if you can’t update it), but with cloud solutions like Office 365, you pay monthly or annually for a subscription. While it does include upgrades and multiple other benefits beyond just the software, if you stop paying the subscription, you lose access to the software.
4. Downtime & Reliability Concerns
When you use cloud-based applications, you’re relying on the service provider to maintain their servers correctly and keep your data accessible at all times. Some providers will have “uptime guarantees” for 99.99% of the time, but if their servers go down, there’s not much you can do until they fix the issue.
The Hybrid-Cloud Solution
How can you get the collaborative and flexibility benefits of cloud-based solutions while avoiding some of the disadvantages?
Using hybrid-cloud solutions that combine both online cloud flexibility and offline security can give you the best of both worlds.
An example is Office 365, that lets you collaborate with a team and save your documents on their cloud server, while you also have a copy of the software on your computer that can be used offline to work on documents.
Our suggestions for your own hybrid-cloud office:
- Choose the cloud for programs that need collaboration (like CRM programs)
- Stay offline for data that you don’t want to entrust to a cloud solution
- Use both onsite and cloud-based backup for the best data security
- Trial cloud software before buying to see how it fits your business
Need Some Help with Cloud Solutions for your Office?
Technology Visionaries can help you transition workflows to the cloud easily and show you how the technology will save you money and boost productivity.
Schedule a free consultation today online or by calling 732-587-5960.