What are some of the cons of using cloud software like Google Apps to power your business operations?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
1. Rough Internet
I love cloud apps, and the majority of our business lives in the cloud. However, when you heavily rely on cloud-based apps, any outage in reliable Internet brings you down to a screeching halt. Poor hotel WiFi, airport WiFi or regular outages can add quite a bit of headaches to the equation when you live in the cloud.
– Patrick Conley, Automation Heroes
2. Old Versions of Documents
Even if the version in the cloud is updated and accurate, some employees will always use the old version because it’s conveniently on their hard drive. It also becomes an issue if past employees have access after leaving the company.
– Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems
3. International Access
Sometimes some of the apps don’t work when traveling all over the world or in places, such as China, given the censorship and delicate political issues with China and Google. We use VPN access just to be able to function, and if it wasn’t for that, we would have to find another alternative that is more costly and probably not as effective.
– Derek Capo, Next Step China
4. Email Lockouts
Google has a strange policy for how many emails you can send and data you can download and upload. I’ve had Google lock me out of my email for a day without there being anything I could do; there isn’t anyone you can call or email at Google, so you’re stuck waiting until they decide to unlock your account. It has happened three times and has seriously caused me to question Google’s dependability.
– Enrico Palmerino, SmartBooks
5. Unpredictable Service
You can’t predict how Google will change their services, but you can count on them slowly removing the ways you do business. These services are not free. We started out with Gmail before there was a limit to accounts on our brand. We have more than 100 users, but anyone doing this today will be capped. Basically, they offer services and then take them away to make people pay for premium service.
– Ty Morse, Songwhale
6. User Restrictions
We use Google Apps for business, and I love it. However, I have to keep in mind that when I send attachments as a Google Doc and the user does not have a Google Docs account, they cannot open my attachment.
– Alex Chamberlain, EZFingerPrints
7. Data Encryption
Although cloud-based software is convenient for your business operations, there can be security risks, especially for those providers that do not encrypt data.
– Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance
8. Customer Support
Customer support is extremely hard to reach, especially if you’re not a big account with them. When issues arise and you need an answer, they’re not always there to offer support. Google’s self-service model is effective, but it puts a lot on the shoulders of the users to figure it out on their own.
– Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee
9. Spreadsheet Limits
As a former management consultant, I believe that there is no tool like Microsoft Excel. At Modify, we use Google Apps for nearly everything because the products are an amazing collaboration suite. Still, the spreadsheet product just isn’t robust enough for a detailed analysis. When we need to engage on different projections or analyses, we always start with Excel.
– Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
10. User-friendliness Issues
Even though using Google Apps and keeping everything in the cloud is second nature to me and my team, our clients aren’t always in the same boat. Something as simple as sharing a Google Doc can actually become a bit of a frustration for our clients and creates more work overall. Understanding that your clients may need some guidance is key when moving to this platform for your business.
– Erin Blaskie, Erin Blaskie, Digital Strategist
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