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To Cloud, Or Not To Cloud?

Understanding the cloud is vital for a successful enterprise mobile app strategy as businesses need to weigh up potential pitfalls against cost savings and flexibility.

Over the last few years, there has been much discussion in the industry about the Cloud and whether or not businesses should be looking to an externally hosted solution or use dedicated internal servers to fulfil their data storage requirements. So what are the key things that businesses should be aware of when thinking about making this decision, especially when it comes to mobile apps?

One of the major benefits of cloud solutions is that they offer organisations cost effective and rapidly scalable processing power through large data centres run by the likes of Cable & Wireless, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. This enables start-up tech companies and SMEs to offer services previously out of their reach.

In the world of mobile apps this is of particular importance as it allows developers to bring a mobile app to market backed up by IT systems that can scale in the event of success, something which often limits a company's potential.

As an Apps development company working in the enterprise and consumer space, Mubaloo has encountered a number of occasions where companies don’t have their servers set up for mobile access. Apps need to respond quickly or users won’t access them. The cloud helps to overcome this by storing the data where it is needed to get to users quickly.

So what of the drawbacks? To begin with there are concerns over control. How will data be accessed or protected from intrusion, theft or manipulation. There are laws regarding data protection and use of private data that therefore need to be taken into consideration when you are considering a cloud solution.

The cloud is a virtual service so of course this is of concern. As events from this year, with companies and institutions as large as Sony and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)have shown, no company is truly that safe from attack from dedicated hackers. Security is also of vital importance to companies. The cloud providers know this and are doing everything they can to protect data.

In is also worth noting that while cloud services tend to be efficient when the scale is changing quickly (i.e. a start-up going viral, or when services are accessed during advert breaks), when a stable usage pattern is set (i.e. servers used constantly between office hours) the cloud costs may be higher than back end servers managed by an in-house team or trusted supplier.

In summary, cloud solutions open up doors for small App Development companies that otherwise would be barriers to entry. It enables Apps to run faster, and for data to be disseminated with ease to devices. It doesn’t come without risks though, especially around data protection. There have been great strides to ensure data is protected. As with anything in life and business, it is about weighing up the benefits and the potential risk.