For many organizations, Cloud computing is becoming an increasingly more appealing substitute to traditional on premise systems. Having looked at the picture above, it is evident that although the Cloud does have its downsides, (just as on premise systems do) its many benefits are encouraging organizations to make the move. This trend is not a fad. It is the future.
For more detailed descriptions of the pros & cons of the Cloud, please read below.
- Updates to the application happen automatically, meaning that users always have access to the latest functionality.
- Very easy to manage the solution – for even large numbers of users – because none of the physical infrastructure is onsite or under your control. All of the mundane administrative work is handled by the Cloud provider, leaving you to focus on using the product.
- For Cloud providers domiciled in Canada (Microsoft following the launch of its two Canadian Data Centres, in early 2016) compliance with PIPEDA and CRA privacy legislation is a breeze.
- Leasing the solution removes the significant upfront cost of purchasing licenses, smoothing the cash flow implications of selecting the application.
- Leasing the licenses allows for a lower cost profile, because the number of users can often be adjusted from month to month, ensuring that you are paying for only the licenses you use.
- Progressive Cloud providers are also moving quickly to providing flexibility around the amount of computing power used, in a true Utility pricing model, where – just like with water – you pay only for the computing power that you use.
- Economies of scale allow for very strong security parameters in the Cloud–enterprise grade cyber-security, biometric controls on entry/exit, etc. – which makes Cloud infrastructure substantially more secure than what can be afforded in an on premise scenario, where one broken window can mean the loss of data.
- Updates to the application happen automatically, creating a business challenge around change management. Users can become frustrated when key functionality upon which they rely is changed.
- For Cloud providers domiciled outside Canada (the vast majority of Data Centres are in the US) compliance with PIPEDA and CRA privacy legislation can be a struggle, potentially exposing client data to vulnerability under the US PATRIOT ACT.
- If an organization has made significant investments in computing infrastructure and especially in IT personnel, savings can be challenging to achieve without over-turning their IT strategy. Often the choice comes down to a ‘sunk cost’ (previous investments in hardware and personnel) vs. a ‘new cost’.
Want to hear how the Cloud has worked in the real world? Check out the webcast below and watch Altus Dynamics' CEO, Colin Dickinson, discuss the pros & cons of Microsoft's Cloud with Cloud users from the CNE and Big Brothers Big Sisters Canada.
Want to watch the rest of the series? Click below and check out all 5 webcasts!