The benefits of cloud computing have been much discussed among organisations and technology experts in recent years. Not only is the system a cost-effective document storage solution for enterprises, it is also easy to install and can reduce the need for server maintenance and management.
According to the non-profit organisation EuroCloud, companies running on cloud computing also enjoy a number of other advantages. Phil Wainewright, UK vice-chairman of the group, pointed out that since the application is already set up, cloud computing providers take care of its management, upgrades and the adding of extra functionality features: “So you avoid all of the technology headaches of having to look after your own servers and software and do all the upgrading yourself,” he said.
However, not everyone has realised this benefit, Mr Wainewright added: “What a lot of small businesses have found is that they’re stuck with existing software packages that they put on board a long time ago and they’re getting a bit long in the tooth. “They might be a bit expensive to maintain or if they’re not costing money to maintain, they may have an opportunity cost because they’re not able to give the functionality that people need in their business today,” he added.
But how about data security? Can cloud computing offer secure online document storage, or are there risks to the safety of sensitive information? Reiterating that there are a lot of “scare stories” about the internet, making people nervous about investing in new systems, Mr Wainewright added: “It’s important to remember that cloud providers have got firewalls and a lot of security in place and in most cases, the security that you’re getting from a cloud provider is probably greater than the security you’ve got on in-house servers. “So it’s less likely for the servers to get burgled, they’re less exposed to people just being able to get access to them and download material.”