Storing data in the cloud has become essential to the operation of most contemporary businesses. There are many benefits of using cloud storage including a significant reduction of data loss, cost-effective operation, and scalability just to name a few.
But in order to make an informed decision about whether cloud-based solutions are truly best for one’s needs, it is important to look at the often downplayed disadvantages of cloud storage solutions.
Let’s take a look at the 10 disadvantages of choosing to store your vital data in the cloud.
Disadvantages of Cloud Storage
We’ve listed below the top ten disadvantages of cloud storage services.
- Trust of Data
- Rely on Internet Connection
- Control Limitations
- Inconsistent Performance
- Regulatory Compliances
- Slower Retrieval Times
- Minimal Support
Most servers and computers that store data need an internet connection. The nature of cloud solutions inherently makes them internet-based, meaning that they are interconnected with other devices and servers.
Unless a storage sector is air-gapped (has never been connected to the internet), it is vulnerable to being compromised. The degree to which this is the case relies heavily on the storage solution in question.
The data kept on cloud servers is vital to you or your business. But if the cloud storage provider is not using strong encryption, computer savvy bad actors can hack and compromise that data.
2. Trust of Data
As the data is vastly valuable to those who store it, there needs to be a level of trust that one has when choosing their cloud storage provider.
While many cloud solutions providers claim to keep your data secure from hackers, they often omit the fact that they have access to it and could be selling it to other parties for marketing purposes.
3. Rely on Internet Connection
These days if our internet service goes down, even if for an hour, our minds experience immense levels of anxiety and frustration. With the world being so internet reliant, any service disruptions can have devastating results.
If a cloud storage provider experiences internet connection issues, while the files are on redundant servers, the synching of data will likely fall behind or slow down, or become temporarily unavailable.
If the internet connection is on your end, having the data saved only on the cloud will leave you helpless in terms of trying to access it.
4. Control Limitations
Once you transfer the data to the cloud, it becomes the responsibility of the vendor. That means that you are at the mercy and reliance on the vendors to keep their services safe, stable, up and running, and optimally functional.
This limits the influence on data safety and accessibility almost entirely, with all the reliability being entrusted to the storage vendor.
5. Inconsistent Performance
If the cloud server provider experiences local problems or a DDOS attack, it will force it to be more problematic for you to access the data from them.
Even if the vendor is entirely prepared to deal with such a situation, they will not be able to resolve it immediately. The health of servers is also in question constantly.
In both cases the performance of storing data and retrieving it back on-demand can be inconsistent, something that would spell trouble for those who rely on access to their precious data.
While cloud storage solutions are typically an economically friendly option, when used for short-term projects or on a relatively small scale, the cloud vendor may simply not offer suitable solutions.
For instance, if your need for storing data is for 6 months, but the bare minimum the vendor offers is 2 years, you could be on the hook for 18 more months than you need, and that is not financially viable.
One area of cloud storage that has evolved much more poorly than others has been the ability to migrate to another cloud solution. Therefore, this is still a very challenging situation for many clients.
If you find that one solution is not suitable for all of your needs, you may want to port your data to another solution, though many such options are simply not available at the current time.
If such solutions are available, they could be expensive. This now requires extra cost, commonly in the form of securing a secondary cloud-storage vendor, while still being locked into an agreement with the first.
8. Regulatory Compliances
Certain industries are far more limited in their ability to store vital data in the cloud. Unfortunately, these are often the industries that need this type of solution the most.
For instance, those industries involved with storing patient data have to be wary of digital patient record security due to HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act) compliance.
Financial institutions can only rely on cloud storage solutions that have maximum security protections.
As regulations deem the necessity for certain qualifications for data security, when the penalties, fines, and lawsuits are levied, it will not be against the cloud provider, but your business.
9. Slower Retrieval Times
One of the best things about having data stored in-house is that by sheer proximity, the retrieval of the data will be faster. When you store data in the cloud, its access is more time-consuming.
The difference may not be significant in some cases, but when data retrieval is vital to come back quickly, it may become a very significant difference.
10. Minimal Support
Every user and business is unique in their needs and particulars, so even when working with an intuitive, quick, and secure cloud solution, issues can arise.
One of the biggest issues there is that cloud-storage support is significantly lacking. Many vendors don’t have expert live staff standing by 24/7, with many of them relying on automated online assistants, knowledge base articles, and FAQs.
For users with not a lot of technical knowledge, this can become a dull, time-consuming, and frustrating experience.
The disadvantages of cloud storage solutions aren’t that concerning, but it is important to know and understand the risk and drawbacks.
The decision on whether to use cloud storage solutions and which ones to work with really comes down to the nature of use and the particular needs one needs from the service.
It is therefore advisable that you make extensive research and review any cloud storage services before you make use of them.