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IDC projects that 2020 will be the first full year in which cloud IT infrastructure spending will exceed that of traditional IT infrastructure.

However, it will only hover just above 50 percent. Why is the jury still split on migrating to cloud services?

The cloud can be a great investment for businesses of all sizes, but many IT professionals still have concerns; some of them valid. For instance, they hesitate to trust third-party providers with sensitive tasks like security, privacy and infrastructure management. You may have a similar concern, but don’t dismiss the cloud just yet.

So long as you identify the best cloud infrastructure vendor for your business needs, the benefits of cloud solutions may vastly outweigh the drawbacks, and you could be walking away from a game-changing opportunity.

Let’s have a look at the top-of-mind pros and cons of cloud-based services as the market shifts:

Pros of the Cloud

Convenience

Cloud services simplify, automate and elevate essential processes, transforming the way you do business.

  • Infrastructure mobility means you and your teams have access wherever there’s an internet connection, enabling business-building actions like remote work and enhanced collaboration
  • Automated functions like software updates ensure you’re always up to date
  • Cloud services are customizable, so you can build in the tools you need to reach your goals
  • Your infrastructure is effortlessly scalable, expediting the process and allowing for greater flexibility
  • You receive quality backend support from your provider’s experienced IT professionals, freeing up internal resources

Enhanced Capacity

When you migrate to the cloud, you’ll notice the difference in capacity right away.

  • There will be almost no limit to the amount of data you can store
  • Your system will operate smoothly and at high speeds
  • Disaster recovery in the cloud will be faster and less risky than with on-site infrastructure According to one Microsoft case study, a manufacturer was able to take its 72-hour disaster recovery time down to just minutes with cloud services.

Optimized Costs

Migrating to the cloud is cost-effective both in the immediate and long term.

  • You won’t have to worry about purchasing and maintaining an on-premise infrastructure. You can cut expenses associated with housing hardware and servers, stop paying or waiting for valuable software upgrades, and better allocate your IT team’s time.
  • You only pay for what you use. Most companies only use a fraction of the capacity in their non-cloud infrastructures, but they pay the same upfront cost regardless. With the cloud, you can adjust your plan to your actual usage so you don’t pay more than you need to.
  • As your staff becomes proficient with cloud services, they can use them to improve processes and customer experiences for greater returns. Plus, you avoid indirect costs from downed servers and outages.

Cons of the Cloud

Security Reliance

According to LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020 study, 66 percent of IT professionals are concerned about security in the cloud, while 57 percent are concerned about privacy. With cloud services, you’re entrusting a third-party provider with several responsibilities including:

  • Protecting data from vulnerabilities like hacking and viruses
  • Ensuring only authorized accounts access sensitive information
  • Maintaining and transferring data without loss or exposure

If security is a top concern for you, it’s imperative that you find a reliable provider with robust security, a great track history, and solutions for your unique IT hosting challenges.

And the truth is: Microsoft Azure cloud is typically far more secure than anything most companies could host on premise. For example, Microsoft has more than 3,500 cybersecurity experts working around the clock, and has industry-leading physical, infrastructure and operational security in place. (Read more.)

Loss of Control

An on-premise infrastructure gives you and your IT team a great deal of control over backend configuration and management. In the cloud:

  • Backend infrastructure is managed and supported by the provider, meaning there’s less flexibility in configuration and you’re dependent on them for backend maintenance. If you operate around the clock, like this European brewery that migrated to Microsoft Azure, you’ll need a provider that is available 24 hours
  • Your IT team may require training before they can work comfortably with the cloud. This is a top concern for 58 percent of IT professionals, according to LogicMonitor
  • Once you’ve chosen a provider and migrated to its platform, it will be tedious (also difficult)to move to a different one in the future.

Internet Dependence

One of the major cons of cloud computing is its dependence on a strong internet connection. Many companies hesitate to make the transition because of the risks involved in losing that connection, or not having the bandwidth to run the cloud successfully. However, the benefits far outweigh the potential downsides: greater collaboration, convenient all-in-one access, remote-work capabilities and more.

Companies can guarantee themselves less downtime by choosing a third-party provider that offers a great Service Level Agreement (SLA). Microsoft Azure, for instance, offers SLA agreements of at least 99.99 percent on certain products and services. For others, there are SLA agreements of at least 99.5 percent and 99.95 percent.

Work with your provider to create further fail safes to avoid or carry you through downtime, such as disaster recovery plans, multi-cloud or hybrid solutions, and offline-enabled apps and services.

It’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based services, but you must also consider whether your existing infrastructure is limiting your ability to grow and innovate. Plus, top cloud service providers have solutions for all the most urgent concerns pressing businesses today.

If you’re curious and want to delve deeper into the details, check out these useful resources:

[Ebook] Cost of Moving to Cloud

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