Threats to Cloud Computing

Given all the advantages and benefits of cloud computing, it is worth noting some of the obstacles to this service as well. As described by BusinessWeek here, “North American broadband penetration still lags that of many countries in Europe and Asia, and without high-speed connections—especially wireless ones—cloud computing services won’t be widely accessible.”  Further, the practice of storing large amounts of confidential user data along with software is likely to raise concerns about privacy protection, as discussed by Chirag Mehta in his blog. This second point is especially true for small to mid-size accounting firms, since the majority of their clients are private businesses whose business information is extremely sensitive. Last, the Amazon Web Services EC2 web outage is still fresh in the mind of many critics of cloud computing. A power outage faced by the third-party providing cloud computing service(s) could bring business to a complete halt for the users. Even several hours of this could be devastating for an accounting company during the busy tax or audit season, and could severely compromise the firm’s reputation.

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