But for many organizations, the pros outweigh the cons. Hardware is not your problem, nor are upgrades, backups, availability, access, and more. For most cloud offerings, all of this is under the SLA (service-level agreement), and it's handled for you. The company I co-founded (ClipTraining.com) uses Office 365 for Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync -- though I'm an Exchange MVP. I don't want to have to worry about all the infrastructure, upgrades, and so on that a cloud-based solution can handle for me; instead, I prefer to focus on our core competence, providing high-quality training through online portals.
Blending without the pain of integration
Another reason to consider the cloud is to take advantage of point solutions offered as a service. Many of these, despite the perceived fragility of cloud resources, are aimed at ensuring uptime and business continuity, to provide greater levels of regulatory compliance, to increase your protection against malware and spam, and so on.
Yes, it means spending more money. But the cloud offers a meaningful service: the ability to purchase a la carte from a variety of vendors to mix and match complementary solutions, without having to do the hard work of integration yourself. For example, you might purchase Office 365 licenses for email but forgo the personal archiving solution in favor of a third-party service that provides additional features (we're currently considering Mimecast's Unified Email Management) -- and it may end up costing you less in the end to pick and choose.
Before you discount the cloud because of the latest headline-grabbing outage, consider the easy versatility services bring. By combining solutions, you may be able to achieve greater control and more stable results blending cloud-based services than you could integrating them yourself. Rather than writing off the cloud and going with first impressions (or second or third), I suggest keeping an open mind and looking for ways to utilize the cloud where possible.
What are your thoughts? What position has your organization taken with regard to cloud-based storage and services?
This story, "Bad first impression? Give the cloud a second chance," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.