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What are the Disadvantages of Cloud Computing?

Updated on July 5, 2016
There are definitely some disadvantages to cloud computing.
There are definitely some disadvantages to cloud computing.

Cloud computing is bringing about some amazing changes in our world. We're beginning to see them everywhere.

  • People used to be concerned about running out of email storage space, but now web-based programs like Gmail are constantly increasing the capacity they offer to users.


  • Dropbox, Sendspace and similar applications are facilitating the transfer and storage of massive files- file that previous required a physical transfer via a USB stick or external hard drive.


  • Video hosting sites like Vimeo and YouTube are providing an avenue for education, entertainment and communication between people in all corners of the globe.


And these are just a few examples that most people have had experiences with. Cloud computing is also being applied in more profound ways.

Let's take GoogleMaps for example. The "street view" function currently houses photos of almost every building in metropolitan areas. As augmented reality glasses become available to consumers, they will be able to recognize where you are and what you're looking at. They'll then reference online content in the cloud and layer your view with historical information, prices, reviews, additional pictures, and anything else you can imagine.

It's not that far off! Maybe a couple of years. The number of technologies that are being developed to facilitate these kinds of technologies are ever-increasing.


With the advent of Samsung's Virtual Reality headsets, one can begin to see how this trend might change the world as we know it-- Could it be the beginning of life in the digital world? Perhaps an existence that is not entirely different from what was portrayed in the Matrix movies? Imagine how the world will look when devices that give access to Virtual Reality experiences become as small as a contact lens!

Cloud computing is definitely changing our world in ways we've previously only dreamed of. Many people see that as an exciting prospect, but others see some glaring disadvantages of cloud computing technologies. Moreover, these disadvantages often seem to be more than just inconveniences. Some of them are downright scary for people to imagine- apocalyptic even!

The primary concern for people is security. This has always been a flipside to the benefits of the internet, but many say that cloud computing has vaulted this disadvantage to a new level.

We're not merely talking about protection from identity theft or worrying that someone might steal your email password. As we create a more intricate web of technologies that rely upon each other, the threat of systemic failure is becoming a real possibility.

In the ol' days, the worst thing that could happen was a power failure. But imagine what would happen if all the online banking software experienced a simultaneous technical error or if the NYSE lost its ability to transmit trading information. Those can certainly be classified as disadvantages to cloud computing.

To be fair though, they are not direct disadvantages-- they are indirect. Cloud computing in-and-of itself is creating seemingly magical technologies that the human race has never seen. It's the risk of losing those technologies that is seen as their disadvantage.

Not because humans CAN'T live without them--

But because we no longer know how to.

A Real Life Computing Nightmare!

In the 1800's the earth was struck by a massive solar flare. The flare struck with a high degree of electromagnetic radiation that blew out telegraph wires and lit up the night sky!

Luckily, at that time, telegraph wires constituted the majority of electronic infrastructure that had been invented. People barely took note of the solar flare!

However, nowadays things could look quite different...

If a similar sized solar flare struck earth today, it could destroy our satellites, power grid and motherboards-- rendering our computer driven society "dead in the water".

It's a scary thought- and it's certainly a disadvantage of become increasingly dependent on cloud computing technologies!

Let's Play Devil's Advocate!

Okay Okay Okay!! We know that cloud computing has its disadvantages.

But what about the ADvantages of cloud computing technologies?!

There are many, to be fair! A great many.

Thanks to cloud computing technology, we can communicate with each other in ways we never imagined possible 15 years ago!

And it's going to get more intense.

That will be a wonderful thing for people who are distant from their loved ones. And it will be a great thing for scientific development as well!

With an abundance of information equally available to all people, the human race can focus their efforts on much loftier tasks like:

  • Space Travel
  • Curing Disease
  • Eradicating Hunger
  • Battling Climate Change

Doesn't that sound exciting?! Thanks to cloud computing, these things will happen soon- not in centuries, but DECADES! Maybe even sooner.

Hold on to your hats!

Is Cloud Computing ultimately helpful or harmful to the human race?

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Cloud Computing Quiz!!!


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