For many HR professionals who must handle mountains of information for payroll, administering benefits, and tending to other information systems as part of their daily responsibilities, making the move to a cloud based computing system might seem a little bit like having a second Christmas. But, before you dive right in, it’s important to first consider the pros and cons of taking your important information “to the clouds.”
Cloud Computing Pros
Cost effectiveness. The truth of the matter is that eliminating paperwork saves money. Many businesses can also eliminate quite a few members of their IT staff when they no longer need to have all the hardware on hand to store these mountains of information.
Stress reduction. The idea of less stress when it comes to managing data is appealing on all fronts. Cloud access means that all the data is stored and managed elsewhere. This can lead to increased productivity and eliminate overlapping data or, worse, gaps in information.
Scalability. Like many services you purchase, cloud services allow customers to pay for what they need from month to month. As your business grows, you can purchase a greater amount of space within the “cloud.”
Cloud Computing Cons
Of course, you should never begin counting your chickens while they’re still eggs. There are a few sizable cons to remember as well when it comes to cloud computing. Don’t overlook these potentially important details in your efforts to upgrade your system of data management.
Ownership of the data. There are tons of questions that remain concerning cloud computing but one of the biggest is about ownership of the information. Once you stop paying for the service, what happens to the data that has been stored in the cloud? Does that data once again become your possession? Is it sold elsewhere? Is it even possible to retrieve all the information from the cloud once you no longer wish to receive the service?
Privacy. On top of the question of ownership; there are bigger questions about privacy while you’re paying for the cloud computing service and after you stop paying for it. Can the information remain confidential? Will it? What kind of safeguards are in place to guarantee any sort of real privacy for the data that’s stored in the cloud?
Despite the many benefits cloud computing has to offer businesses today, the truth is that there are a lot of questions remaining. While it may not be cause for concern sufficient to prevent businesses from using cloud computing; it should be enough to cause businesses to ask more questions before signing up.