THE CLOUD - A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
It is only by embracing risk that we can properly evaluate what is going on around us. Evaluating the risks and benefits of operating your business(s) using technology based via The Cloud is no different.
The benefits for operating in the Cloud are compelling according to many technology professionals. There is no doubt that upfront, it appears to be cheaper than conventional methodologies such as using a server based facility. In addition, it said to be easy to use, and offers greater access for multiple users etc.
These factors sound wonderful in practice until you realise some of the negatives which may mean you;
(i) lack control of access over your business's accounts and systems;
(ii) are signing up for a Cloud based service via a third party, e.g. a business offering professional services where you are not the primary client of the Cloud service provider;
(iii) are subject to increasing fees as you are locked in to a contract with perhaps, unforeseen rights for the Cloud provider;
(iv) discover there is no privacy on the cloud;
(v) only have access depending on the financial viability of your accounting or business services provider;
(vi) a government decides your internet service provider is of dubious character and decides to shutdown them down and leave you with no access to your business and data, etc.
From another perspective, the cheapest upfront option is not always the primary objective for all business people. There are those who, rightly or wrongly, believe it is more important to have greater control over their business and "peace of mind" rather than saving a few dollars upfront.
I accept my fear of the lack of access and control over my business affairs and company records, does make me hesitate to use the Cloud. When people claim such trends of using the Cloud are inevitable, accepting statement at face value and without due diligence, sounds very dangerous because we are unable to gauge the risks. Whilst the advocates enthusiastically promote the benefits, rarely do they also discuss protective options when dealing with the negative aspects of the Cloud.
Perhaps the technology experts are right and there is little we can do about having to use Cloud based services. At the end of the day however, if you hand over control of your life and business affairs to others because of laziness, lack of foresight or acceptance of their bullying tactics; your destiny is in their hands not yours.