What are Cloud computing advantages and disadvantages launch cover

The advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing

date: 22 September 2022
reading time: 6 min

Already on the rise in the 2010s, since 2020 the world has been migrating over to cloud computing by the millions and it doesn’t look like this trend is going to do anything except continue in its upward trajectory.

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing refers to the process of storing and accessing data on the internet. By storing this data in the ‘cloud’, it removes the need to keep any digital information on your personal computer’s hard drive. Accessed via the internet, you connect to a remote server from which you can reach your stored data, run applications and deliver content to connected devices.

There are three main types of cloud networks:

  • Private

    A cloud storage that is exclusively for a business. It is usually set up on-premises, but can be expensive to build and maintain.

  • Public

    These are owned and maintained by specialist cloud services providers and available to individuals and businesses alike.

  • Hybrid

    This solution combines public and private clouds, cherry picking aspects of both to create a bespoke package.

With so many enterprises migrating to the cloud as part of their digital transformation strategy, it’s important to understand what the main benefits (and drawbacks) of cloud computing are, so you can arm yourself with all the relevant knowledge which will allow you to formulate the best cloud strategy for you.

What are the advantages of using a cloud?

Here are some of the biggest advantages of cloud computing that tempt companies to make the switch.

Cost reduction

  • The most obvious benefit of cloud computing are the potential cost savings. Cost, finance and budget are forever at the forefront of business and so it makes sense that any product or service which can help save the company money will be right up there at the top of the list of reasons why they should proceed.
Running a private server costs many thousands of dollars just for the hardware setup, let alone the software and hardware maintenance that is required on an ongoing basis. They also require space, which costs money, and cooling, which in these difficult times of insane energy price hikes is no small matter.
  • Cloud computing takes care of all of these issues. The cloud services provider maintains all the software, the hardware required to run the servers, the maintenance and the energy costs. All you have to do is pay the monthly fee! It goes without saying that cloud-based applications come at just a fraction of the cost of going it alone, making it a fantastic choice for small and large enterprises alike.


  • One of the most attractive benefits of adopting a cloud computing strategy is the high levels of security that come with it. Despite the occasional over-dramatised news headline stating the latest celebrity who has had their private pictures hacked, cloud-based storage is extremely safe, especially when compared to private data storage.
  • This unfortunately results in up to 60% of small companies closing within 6 months of being hacked, with the average global cost of a data breach reaching as high as $3.62 million.
Between 2020 and 2021, 42% of all small businesses reported falling victim to a cyberattack.
  • Although there are many aspects to consider when it comes to cyber security, cloud computing on public or hybrid systems offers your data a much more robust layer of security that would be very expensive to achieve privately. Cloud service providers are obligated by law to protect your data to the best of their ability from any breaches, and are constantly updating their security protocols. With digital encryption and security improving on almost a daily basis, migrating to the cloud is a very sensible choice to make.


  • Things break all the time, especially electronics. Case in point: reflect now on how many portable hard drives ended up freezing on you in the mid-to-late 2000s only to end up in the bin, taking your family photos, movies and favourite television series’ with them – more than you would have liked it can be assumed?
Cloud computing offers you an unprecedented level of reliability for your data that simply must be taken advantage of. Cloud providers store your data in multiple locations and they are constantly updating their servers, backups and cooling systems to optimise their processes.
  • They are covered in the event of almost any emergency – something that could not be said for your local network area.

Accessibility & collaboration

  • With cloud computing, you can access any of your files from any device with an internet connection, it’s just that easy. In this modern world of hybrid working models and a ‘work-from-home’ culture that looks set to stay, this level of unprecedented flexibility makes cloud-based computing the ideal solution for businesses and individuals.
This ease of accessibility also makes collaboration extremely easy and viable. Gone are the days that we need to save a Word document, name the version, then email it to your colleague
  • Simply open up your shared Google document on your shared drive and everyone can collaborate on the same project, at the same time, from any corner of the globe!


Cloud computing offers its clients almost unlimited storage. This means that scaling your business operations is extremely easy, and can even be done on a monthly basis.

There is no need to buy more hardware, hire more maintenance staff, or increase your energy bills, you can quite simply click a few buttons and voila, expand your business.

What are the disadvantages of using a cloud?

Despite there being a plethora of advantages to cloud computing, there are also a number of drawbacks that must be considered before taking the plunge.

Internet connection

  • It goes without saying that in order to access cloud-based computing, you will need a good, stable internet connection.
In many parts of the world this won’t be any issues as both wired and mobile internet connections are very good, but that’s not always the case all over the globe.
  • Some countries, cities or more rural areas are still subject to slow, unreliable connections that are liable to stop working at times and may fail to process the data required. If you rely on cloud computing in these areas, any disruption to your internet source will quite literally grind the whole business to a halt.


  • How is it that security is both an advantage and disadvantage at the same time? While there are a huge number of positives when it comes to security, the obvious downside that must be considered in any sensible conversation is that cyber attacks are possible and they do happen, albeit infrequently.
In essence, you are literally sharing the most intimate company (or personal) data with a 3rd party provider: how can you be 100% certain that your data is secure?
  • We hear about breaches all the time and there is always the chance that you could be the unlucky one. If that was the case, what do you stand to lose? Understanding how your cloud service provider secures your data is crucial, and something that should not be overlooked when making the decision on which cloud computing services to go with.

Limited support and technical issues

Although this is not the biggest factor to consider when deciding whether or not to make the switch to cloud computing, it is a factor nevertheless. Some companies may not be as accessible as others when it comes to technical support and this can be not only damaging, but highly frustrating.

We’ve all been there; a situation has come up and you urgently need to speak to someone to fix it ASAP, but when you reach out for a solution, there’s only an FAQ and a general email enquiry address… no phone number, no live chat, no hope.
  • Accessing the troubleshooting section on the company’s website can be slow, frustrating and ineffective so make sure that the cloud provider you choose has adequate support systems in place when you need them the most.

Provider stops

Although rare, it may be the case that your cloud services provider shuts up shop and stops operating altogether. Of course, choosing to go with one of the big boys like Google or Microsoft, this is a very remote risk. But there are many cloud service providers out there so going with one of the newbies could potentially be a risk.

Make sure to check out the company thoroughly first to avoid any unnecessary issues down the line.

The future of cloud computing

When it comes to weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing, it should become clear pretty quickly that the advantages drastically outweigh the disadvantages. Although the disadvantages may be enough to put some people off, it’s important to understand their scale in comparison to the possible advantages.

Remember, every single advantage offered by cloud computing comes directly from the cloud provider themselves.

This can’t be said of the disadvantages, many of which lie outside their remit of power. Things happen, risks are everywhere, but the positives that come with this switch are numerous.

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