Cloud computing is steadily becoming a popular and cheaper option for most IT-reliant companies for various integral services to their operations. What used to be investments for servers, hardware and storage devices are now monthly service fees for virtual storage and applications that a network of computers can access anytime and anywhere with the right IT infrastructure.
Although the emergence of great cloud-based computing companies like RingCentral and Dropbox that provide awesome services is such a treat for SMEs and startups, the way the technology is structures presents various issues that need to be addressed.
These issues include but are not limited to the following:
Since the data isn’t protected by security measures you employed yourself, how sure can you be that the cloud computing company you contracted is taking every measure to keep it safe? And who are they keeping it safe from? The data itself is stored on the service provider’s own infrastructure. You pay them to store it and manage it, along with giving you a way to access and change the data. But how about the people who access it illegally? How does your service provider prevent this? Since the service provider hosts the data, is it allowed access to it, or must it simply facilitate your usage? Before you ump headfirst into the trend, make sure you ask your service provider what it does to secure the data you upload.
In relation to data security, your data may be tampered while it is under the purview of your service provider’s infrastructure. While the data may not be taken or deleted, it can be changed or modified.
The transference of data to servers that aren’t physically-owned by the authors or uploaders of the data themselves begs the question of whom does the data belong to? Lawmakers continue to debate and try to define the parameters of the data stored in the cloud as to whose the pieces are, or if it’s actually owned by no one.
Impact on other industries
VoIP phone services are basically telephony solutions that work through software phones and access to cloud-based computing services and applications. The great price difference from a landline phone system may impact the PSTN-based companies greatly when users switch to digitized and cheaper systems, creating more jobs but turning others almost obsolete. Although this move into the future may be favorable, old systems become outdated. New courses in education may emerge from the shift while others that involve older technology may not be taught anymore.
So if you’re planning to switch to internet-based services for storing your files, making phone calls or collaborating on a project, consider the risks and issues that face this exciting new tech first before you decide it’s time for you to enter the future.