Gone are the days when you had to store boxes of documents in your office. Salvation came in the form of cloud computing in the 2000s. Since then, it’s made a world of difference for businesses across all industries, increasing productivity, organization, and decluttering the workspace. More importantly, it allows businesses to reduce various expenses by 30%-50%.
Cloud computing has countless benefits, but that doesn’t mean the technology is flawless. On the contrary, you should be aware of several disadvantages of cloud computing that can cause many problems with your implementation. Weighing up the pros and cons is essential – and we’ll do precisely that in this article.
Read on for the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.
Advantages of Cloud Computing
One of the greatest benefits of cloud computing is that it’s cost-efficient and allows you to reduce business expenses on three fronts.
Reduced Hardware and Software Expenses
You don’t need physical hardware to store your documents if you have a cloud computing platform. Likewise, the technology eliminates the need to run multiple software platforms because you can keep all your files in one place.
Lower Energy Consumption
In-house storage solutions can be convenient, but they consume a lot of electricity. Conversely, cloud computing systems help companies increase energy efficiency by over 90%.
Minimal Maintenance Costs
Maintaining such platforms is straightforward and affordable as cloud computing doesn’t involve heavy-duty software and hardware.
Scalability and Flexibility
Another reason cloud computing is popular is its scalability and flexibility. Here’s what underpins these advantages of cloud computing.
Easy Resource Allocation and Management
You don’t need to allocate your storage resources to numerous solutions if you have a unified cloud computing system. Managing your storage requirements becomes much easier with all your money going into one channel.
Pay-As-You-Go Pricing Model
Cloud-based platforms are available on a pay-as-you-go model. This reduces the risk of overpaying for your service because you’re only charged for the amount of data used.
Rapid Deployment of Applications and Services
Deploying cloud computing applications and services is simple. There’s no need for intense employee training, which further reduces your costs.
Accessibility and Mobility
Cloud computing is a highly accessible and mobile technology that can elevate your efficiency in a number of ways.
Access to Data and Applications From Anywhere
All it takes to access a cloud-based platform is a stable internet connection. As a result, you can retrieve key files virtually anywhere.
Improved Collaboration and Productivity
The ability to access data and applications from anywhere boosts collaboration and productivity. Your team gets a unified platform where they can share data with others much faster.
Support for Remote Work and Distributed Teams
Setting up a remote workspace is seamless with a cloud-computing solution. Employees no longer have to come to the office to perform repetitive tasks since they can do them from their computers.
If you want to address the most common security concerns in your organization, cloud computing is an excellent option.
Centralized Data Storage and Protection
By storing your information in a centralized location, you decrease the risk of data theft. In essence, you funnel all your resources into one platform rather than spread them out across multiple channels.
Regular Security Updates and Patches
Cloud computing providers offer regular updates to protect your information. Systems with the latest security patches are less prone to cyber attacks.
Advanced Encryption and Authentication Methods
You can also benefit from cloud computing tools due to their next-level encryption and authentication solutions. Most platforms feature AES 256-bit encryption, which is the most advanced and practically impregnable method. Furthermore, two-factor authentication lowers the chances of unauthorized access.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
Business continuity and disaster recovery are two of the most pressing business challenges. Cloud computing solutions can help address these problems.
Automated Data Backup and Recovery
Many cloud storage systems are designed to automatically backup and recover your data. Hence, you don’t need to worry about losing your information in the event of a power outage.
Reduced Downtime and Data Loss
Since cloud computing helps prevent data loss, this technology also saves you less downtime. You don’t have to retrieve information manually because the platform does the work for you.
Simplified Disaster Recovery Planning
Although cloud computing tools are reliable, they’re not immune to failure caused by power loss, natural disasters, and other factors. Fortunately, these platforms have robust disaster recovery plans to get your system up and running in no time.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Since the technology is so effective, you might be asking yourself: “Are there any disadvantages of cloud computing?” There are, and you need to understand these downsides to determine the best way to implement the technology. Here are the main drawbacks of cloud computing.
Data Privacy and Security Concerns
Like any other online technology, cloud computing can put users at risk of data privacy and security concerns.
Potential for Data Breaches and Unauthorized Access
While cloud apps have exceptional security practices, cyber criminals can bypass them with state-of-the-art technology and innovative hacking methods. Consequently, they may gain access to your information and steal your credentials.
Compliance With Data Protection Regulations
Your cloud computing tool may comply with many data protection regulations, but this doesn’t mean your information is 100% secure. Some standards only require apps to use robust password practices and fail to consider other attack methods, such as phishing.
Trusting Third-Party Providers With Sensitive Information
Online services require you to share your information to enable all features. Cloud computing is no different in this respect. You need to provide a third-party vendor with your data, which can be risky.
Limited Control and Customization
Cloud computing is a flexible and scalable technology. At the same time, it limits your control and customization options, which is why you might not be 100% happy with your platform.
Dependence on Cloud Service Providers
You decide what files you wish to share with your cloud-based solution. However, that’s pretty much it when it comes to the control you have over the platform. You depend on the vendor for every other aspect, including updates and patches.
Restrictions on Software and Hardware Customization
There aren’t many options to choose from when selecting a cloud storage plan. The price of your plan mostly depends on how much data you wish to share. Other than that, you get little-to-no hardware and software customization features.
Potential for Vendor Lock-In
Once you create an account with one cloud computing provider, you might not be happy with their services. As a result, you want to switch to a different platform. Many people think this is a simple transition, but that’s not always the case. Even though you can cancel your plan, migrating your data from one tool to the next can be difficult.
Network Dependency and Connectivity Issues
You might be relieved once you set up an account on a cloud-based platform: “I no longer need to clutter my office with masses of documents because I can now use an internet tool.” That said, using an online app also means you depend on network quality.
Reliance on Stable Internet Connection
A stable internet connection is essential for cloud computing. Internet problems can reduce or prevent you from accessing your files altogether.
Performance Issues Due to Network Latency
If your cloud network has high latency, sharing files can be challenging. In turn, latency reduces productivity and collaboration.
Vulnerability to Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks
Cloud platforms are susceptible to so-called DDoS attacks. A cyber criminal can target your tool and keep you from accessing the service.
Downtime and Service Reliability
Not every cloud computing system performs the same in terms of reducing downtime and maximizing reliability.
Risk of Outages and Service Disruptions
While cloud-based solutions have exceptional recovery plans and backup methods, you’ll still face some downtime in case of outages. Even the shortest service disruption can cause major issues when working on certain projects.
Shared Resources and Potential for Performance Degradation
Cloud systems are convenient because they allow you to store your data in one place. Nonetheless, one of the key disadvantages of cloud computing is managing those shared resources. Accessing information can become difficult if you don’t stay on top of it.
Likewise, performance can drop at any point of your plan. App incompatibility and other issues can compromise data architecture and further compromise management.
Dependence on Provider’s Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
You’ll probably need to enter into an SLA when partnering with a cloud computing provider. These contracts can be rigid, meaning they may fail to recognize and adapt to evolving business needs.
Make an Informed Decision
Cloud computing has tremendous benefits, like improved data storage, collaboration, and cost reduction. The main drawbacks include hardware and software restrictions, connectivity issues, and potential downtime.
Therefore, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing before implementing a platform. Also, consider your business needs when partnering with a cloud provider to help prevent compatibility issues.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.