In recent months, the entire cloud computing industry has come under fire for a variety of reasons. Among these criticisms are issues with the cloud’s ability to provide secure, available and stable computing environments for tomorrow’s businesses. Most critics are choosing focus on these negative aspects of the cloud without acknowledging the hard work cloud-computing proponents are doing to build a more stable and efficient cloud. The truth of the matter is that the cloud is here to stay—and it’s going to continue to transform how we produce, consume and distribute data. The future of cloud-based technology is bright; so let’s take a look at the sunnier side of the cloud.
Overlooked Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Vendor Independent Clouds – Another common criticism of cloud technology is that companies will be locked into a single vendor for the life of their data, which can also mean the life of some companies. Again, this doesn’t paint the whole picture. With open source-powered technology, like with Rackspace’s open source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offerings, companies large and small can build open, closed or hybrid clouds to their specifications. With open source standards, companies can build their cloud infrastructure to meet their needs without the need for a complex, high-maintenance vendor. In this way, the open cloud frees up companies to be more productive in their industries.
- Data Retention/Stability – This critique isn’t hard to justify. To be completely honest, some cloud-computing service providers have straight up dropped the ball on this one. With a growing number of highly publicized server outages and data loss/breach instances in recent years, it has caused many cloud pundits to lose faith and question the stability of the cloud. The truth is that this all comes down to infrastructure, and the companies you choose to work with. Many of them experience major downtime, while others can boast 100 percent uptime. Do your research, and uptime shouldn’t be a problem.
- industries have to adhere to compliance standards. Whether it’s their own standards they’re trying to meet, or government regulations, there are strict guidelines concerning data storage and security. Cloud systems like Dropbox don’t often meet these regulations. However, more secure systems will easily meet these standards. Options for highly regulated industries include hybrid computing and simply choosing a compliant cloud vendor.
As with any type of rapidly expanding technology, the cloud will continue to come under fire. The larger it gets, the more skeptical data professionals will become. This is largely because the cloud poses a threat to many long-held beliefs about data management. No longer is there a steep learning curve for major IT processes. The future of IT is bright, but it’s the cloud that will take us to that sunny future.