I agree with Diane that cloud computing definitely has its pros and cons.
I think that as a collaborative tool, cloud computing is very beneficial for organizations. It reminds me a bit of the use of a Wiki in an organization. I think that to have a document that everyone has access to is a great way for everyone to have input. It also helps to move an organization away from the use of mass emails. I was in a job interview and the office was planning on making the shift from email usage to a new company intranet. The woman I was speaking with was saying how email would be better used for urgent correspondence. The cloud allows companies to have ongoing projects that everyone can contribute to and everyone can monitor changes.
This Mashable article also outlines the financial benefits of the cloud. Organizations are able to spend less money on IT services and less time on setting up a network for the company. The cloud is faster, easier, and cheaper to implement and is less technologically demanding.
This chart outlines some of the reasons why organizations started the shift to using the cloud. The cloud also allows employees access from any device, something that is increasingly important in our increasingly mobile world. This allows employees to work from home or access documents when offsite at a meeting. It is very efficient business-wise.
Privacy is definitely a con of the cloud. If the cloud technically owns the information added to it, then the organization actually has very little control over their projects. My number one concern would be that the cloud might sell the information. I don’t think the cloud could get away with selling the intellectual property of the organization, but maybe it would work similar to how Facebook does, using data mining, etc. Maybe the cloud would sell data to companies who think that this organization would benefit from their services.
This Mashable article suggests a drawback is that if the server crashes, your organization is at a loss. Unlike a network or shared drive in an organization, if everything is stored on the cloud, the office cannot function efficiently if the server goes down. Also, since the IT department in the company has no control over the cloud, the company has no control over when the cloud will get up and running. The cloud is very reliant on internet connection which is a potential drawback of the organization is forced to be offline for a day.