Cloud computing services provide a multitude of benefits for businesses of every size. Cloud computing services offer “flexible computing power and data storage, as well as data management, messaging, payment and other services that can be used together or individually (Laudon 2014). The list of benefits is long and varied. Cloud computing services are universal. Anyone and everyone can use the system. Cloud computing is cost effective. There is no maintenance fee, but rather a business pays for what they use. The amount of storage space is unlimited. This is a boon to companies who cannot accurately predict data usage. The ability to access private and public clouds ensures stability and security.
Cloud computing services offer the positive aspect of not requiring software installation on company owned computer hard drives. For a small business owner, running a company without a designated IT department, delegating this responsibility to a service provider shifts the majority of the risks to a third party (The Guardian/Microsoft 2014). This shift also reduces the cost of computer hardware. Shifting computing responsibility to the cloud reduces the need for powerful computers, as web-based applications run in cloud infrastructures, not in the desk top (Alijabre, 2012).
Cloud computing services offer also offer a place for colleagues to collaborate and share information, thus enabling employees from several satellite sites to access the same information, at the same time. This enables all employees to have up to date access to information, thus allowing for easier collaboration.
According to Vahe Torossian, Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Small and Midmarket solutions and Partner Group at Microsoft via Microsoft.com, cloud computing services solve several problems. First and foremost is economic. The need for expensive hardware, software, and dedicated IT personnel is alleviated. Cloud computing also “reduces mobility restrictions and limited growth capacity.”
Cloud computing services solve the problems of cost management, inefficiency and unpredictable growth. In the words of Albert Einstein, “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Cloud computing provides many benefits and solves problems for businesses it also has disadvantages. Security and confidentiality is one of those disadvantages, because cloud computing is more vulnerable to malicious user and hacking (Tsagklis, 2013). Business must turn over the control of sensitive and confidential information when they use cloud computing if they are using a provider (Tsagklis, 2013). Businesses that use cloud computing must relinquish control of the security of the data they are providing to the cloud service provider. Business should investigate service providers to ensure that they select one that can provide the services they need, security, and at a rate that is cost effective for the business.