Cloud computing, which evolved with a huge buzz amongst the IT businesses, has become a concrete reality now. It has found its usage in numerous applications that intend to support and enhance business productivity. One of the major areas they are being widely used in is corporate intranet systems.
Whereas many organizations have started replacing their in-house applications with their cloud-based counterparts, few organizations are still skeptical about the appropriateness of using the cloud-based solutions. This article discusses how the cloud has changed the way of implementing modern corporate intranet systems and the merits/demerits associated with it.
What Are Cloud Based Corporate Intranet Systems?
The cloud represents an array of distributed computers that are interconnected to offer the computing power of all those machines together. This computing power allows the cloud service providers to offer services like SAAS (Software As A Service), PAAS (Platform As A Service), and IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service) or a combination of more than one of these services. Cloud-based Corporate Intranet Systems are hosted on the cloud and often are a collection of software that provide email services, internal portals, CRM’s, websites, communication tools etc. A company can use them for its employees instead of implementing these individual applications locally.
Why Cloud Based Systems Instead of the In-House Applications?
Use of the in-house applications often requires a huge investment in form of infrastructure, hardware, and software licensing costs. In addition, these applications require constant maintenance and administration efforts which takes expertise as well as money. The software applications also need to be regularly upgraded, which involves risk of data loss due to potential data migration needs and incompatibilities.
On the other hand, a cloud based solution prevents virtually all the hassle and costs associated with deploying the custom-built or third-party systems within your organization’s territory. You can pay per the usage or the number of users to actually use these services. Also, the servers and the software are maintained, managed, and periodically updated by the cloud service provider. This eliminates the need for hiring various technology experts, buying infrastructure and software licenses, and upgrading the applications regularly.
Risks in using the Cloud based Systems
Whereas cloud computing offers a great set of advantages in terms of cost and efforts saving, it also exposes your organizations to certain risks. The most crucial risk as conceived by the experts is about the security of your data. Many companies do not rely on storing their sensitive information onto the servers owned by someone else, i.e. the cloud hosting provider. This risk becomes even more important with the organizations that deal with the sensitive information like financial transactions, personal or demographic identities of people etc.
In cases of the smaller organizations who are looking for only one solution, such as email service, a cloud based intranet may be an overkill. Many cloud based intranet solutions include a number of different applications, which might not be needed in case of small-sized organizations. Besides, certain cloud providers also use proprietary software on their servers which may require your data to be modeled in a specific way. This may render your data to be incompatible when you change your hosting provider later.
Also, the availability of your applications is limited to the uptime offered by the cloud service provider. It may mean unavailability of services during downtimes, which might be risky in cases of business-critical applications.