Cloud services are an emerging field of technological advancement in the Internet-related industries. Clouds are basically external servers that could be used for storing, copying, transferring, and utilizing various types of data (Frazier & Hearrington, 2017). Prior to the emergence of cloud services, every facility operating a local network was required to have its own dedicated servers. The establishment of such an operation is associated with significant costs necessary for furnishing a server room, purchasing hardware, utilizing software, and performing server maintenance. Many businesses and organizations that often require storage space do not have the financial capacity to own their own servers. At the same time, the public need for convenient and cost-efficient servers stimulated the development of clouds. The immediate advantages of cloud services are as follows:
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- Cost-efficiency. A cloud subscription is infinitely cheaper than establishing a private server network (Chao, 2016);
- Productivity. Cloud servers typically have large and powerful dedicated hardware to process multiple quarries. Overall processing speed is higher than that of small servers (Chao, 2016);
- Storage space. Cloud servers provide significant amounts of storage space to premium clients (Chao, 2016).
Nevertheless, the cloud is not a panacea, as it comes with its own set of inherent issues associated with delegating a crucial task to a third-party provider. The major risks are as follows (Chao, 2016):
- Lack of control. Customers have very little formal knowledge about how the system is operated since servers are typically located hundreds of miles away from their physical location;
- Security issues. Customers have little to no control over what is done with their files in the cloud server. There is a potential for abuse by the providers as well as security breaches by third parties;
- Reliance on the Extranet. Since cloud services are located outside of the company’s physical space, companies would not be able to create an Intranet system using cloud services. Connection to the Internet becomes a critical requirement.
As it is possible to see, although cloud services offer significant advantages to small companies and individual users, industries that require high-security measures and less outside interference would not be able to adopt cloud for their own needs.
Chao, K. M. (2016). E-services in e-business engineering. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 16, 77-81.
Frazier, M., & Hearrington, D. (2017). Technology coordinator’s handbook (3rd ed.). Portland, OR: International Society for Technology in Education.