As cloud computing becomes more and more prominent, the debate on its true benefits continues to grow. Here is one of the better sound bites I've come across that lays out the technology.
While some companies (i.e. IT infrastructure or Security Products) might make arguments against cloud computing, many companies understand that cloud computing also gives you the opportunity to focus on your business, not on your infrastructure and security needs. You certainly should be security-aware and have security standards for your organization. However, these needs should have reasonable, if not aggressive, measures available through your cloud computing provider.
The ability to focus on your business is amplified if you are a startup trying to establish your brand. You need to focus on being a viable business. There is also the probability that you won't have the funds for an IT person or staff to focus on infrastructure support, security, forecasting and other general care and feeding needs. The security and burst capabilities of cloud computing environments are just what you need to get started.
As your business grows and the demands on your infrastructure change, the same rules apply in a cloud computing environment as would in any other environment you host. Is your data safe and accessible? Do you have a solid business continuity plan? These are questions you should ask yourself and consider when selecting your cloud computing partners. What are your provider’s redundancy options? Can you subject your environment to a security assessment either directly or via a third party? Will your customers require the same security assessment access? What are the costs to your business as your infrastructure needs to expand (hardware, software, support staff)?
The benefits are there but you need to make sense of it for your company as every situation is different. As cloud computing adoption grows, the level of service and competition will expand as well. If cloud computing doesn't make sense for you today, keep an eye on the developments in this space. It just might be what you’re looking for down the road.