Benefits

  1. Accessible Anywhere: No matter where you are, you can get to your data, as long as you have an Internet connection.
  2. Low Power: When your main applications are cloud computing, the front-end computers don't need to be as powerful. All they need to be able to do is run the interface for the application, and the server on the other end can do all the processing.
  3. Outsource Administration: If you move your infrastructure to the cloud, you no longer have to worry about keeping your own systems running, patched and secure. That becomes somebody else's problem.
  4. Reduced Cost: Many cloud computing services are less expensive than running the same service yourself because they can offer it on a large scale. Sometimes, they're free.
  5. Increased Storage: Because the service provider likely has a large farm of servers hosting the data, adding additional storage space is usually as simple as paying a bit more.

Disadvantages

  1. No Control: You have no control over where or how your data is stored. Someone may be able to access the data without your permission if they have physical access to the data center.
  2. Downtime: If the remote server goes down, you may be completely unable to access your data.
  3. Privacy: Who controls your data? Who has access to it?
  4. Regulatory Compliance: If your industry has to comply with laws and regulations, will the cloud computing service provider be able to help you meet those needs?
  5. Long-Term Viability: Is this provider likely to be around for a long time? And what happens to your data if it goes out of business?
  6. Speed and Latency: The speed with which you access your data is entirely dependent upon how good your own Internet connection is.


Survey

According to InformationWeekAnalytics 2010 Cloud Survey of 310 business technology professionals using, planning to use, or considering use of cloud computing, the following are concerns about cloud services:

Source: Jonathan Feldman, Informed CIOs: Contracts and SLAs, available at http://analytics.informationweek.com/abstract/5/2274/Cloud-Computing/informed-cio-cloud-contracts-and-slas.html (last accessed Mar. 28, 2010).

References