The 5 Biggest Drawbacks Of Cloud Computing

It Isn't Always Easy

At Cloud Expo New York last month, we asked five key cloud computing executives to highlight the five biggest benefits of cloud computing. That was easy. The benefits -- cost savings, high availability, scalability, etc. -- are what sells the cloud in the first place.

This week, at All About The Cloud in San Francisco, CRN sat down with five more cloud executives to ask a more difficult question: What is the biggest drawback of cloud computing? After some hesitation (who really wants to disparage their own industry?), here’s what they had to say.

Big Data Headaches

"The toughest part of cloud computing is getting large amounts of data in and out of the cloud is almost impossible no matter how fat your network connection is. … The fastest way to transfer 3 TB to 5 TB of data is still FedEx. It really is hard to get your data -- large amounts of data -- in and out." -- Treb Ryan, CEO, cloud infrastructure vendor OpSource

Customers Still Want Control

’If you’re a pure play SaaS company, you require the data to come your way, but that may not always address customer requirements, and you have to respect that. Companies have policies where the data isn’t going to leave the building. Period.’ -- William Soward, CEO, on-demand budgeting, forecasting and reporting, software vendor Adaptive Planning

New Silos

"There is so much opportunity for new point services to become available that you end up with more little pockets of data that need to be aggregated and integrated. It’s revisiting the world of information silos. Keep an eye on that. It’s not so much a drawback as it is something to be cautions of and plan for." -- Swayne Hill, CEO, on-demand operations performance, management solution maker Cloud9 Analytics

Integration Woes

"The biggest drawback is right now is in this transition state there’s this extra layer of integration that needs to happen. [IT says] 'I have so much more to figure out to make my transition.' That’s the hardest part. All of the other things we can deal with." – Jim Szafranski, vice president, customer platform services, cloud-based mobile device management and reporting platform maker Fiberlink

Regulations And Legislation

"The data privacy laws that differ country-by-country are the biggest challenge. We think the cloud is just this thing that’s out there and everyone can use it, but there are still existing laws and organizations that go against that theory … The technology has advanced, but there are still some compliance, regulatory and legislative issues in some parts of the word that preclude you from doing that. We’re a global economy, but we still have individual regulations and legislation." -- Colleen Smith, vice president of SaaS, cloud and SaaS application platform vendor Progress Software