Cut through the Cloud vs On Premise Confusion with Pro Cloud Solutions
The ever-onward march of the digital age we live in, and the fast-paced capability and functionality of the technology available to us, coupled with the post-pandemic move to remote or hybrid/ blended working practices as a forward-looking strategy for the long term, throws up questions – and often confusion and concern – over decisions on whether a business’ hardware and software service applications should remain on premise, or move to being cloud based.
Whilst there is no right answer, or one size fits all solution, with ‘on premise vs cloud’ being the primary question we are posed at Pro Cloud Solutions, we thought it advantageous to set out here a comparison between the two, as well as highlighting some important factors to consider in your decision making.
Don’t forget that for a friendly conversation about the precise needs of your particular business operation, we offer a free initial consultation with one of our expert team, where we can apply the specifics of your business to each of the decision areas and guide you through any dilemma points.
Deployment and Maintenance:
Traditionally, business hardware and software has been more often than not located and installed on site, requiring space within the premises for servers and equipment to be housed, with the cost of the hardware, the applications, the space and the power used falling on the business itself. This on premise set up requires there to be a member(s) of the team with both the capability and responsibility for dealing with purchase, installation across the company’s devices, downtime, upgrades and license renewals – or necessitates a third-party contract to handle these aspects.
With cloud-based operations, all resources are housed off-site through the service provider and are accessed by employees via the internet. With this set up, it is the responsibility of the cloud IT company to handle maintenance, resolve issues and to ensure that software is both fit for purpose, and of the very latest version. Deployment of software is quicker as there is no need for applications to be installed and updated on individual computers or laptops, with provisioning being almost instant.
Security, Control and Compliance:
A great deal of comfort can come from keeping business operations in-house, and with an on premise set up everything you use technology-wise belongs to you, and you have total control of what equipment and applications you use. Additionally, your data remains on site and you have authority over how your company information is stored, its encryption and compliance with GDPR. As above, this does require both responsibility and expertise in data control to come from within your business.
When a cloud-based solution is used, responsibility for data security and encryption falls to the cloud IT company, so it is imperative to ensure you are using a trusted and certified partner, compliant in GDPR and any industry regulated controls your business might need to adhere to. It is however, worth noting that professional cloud companies will apply industry leading security protocols to each part of their process, and will have robust disaster recovery mechanisms in place. It is also true that the sophistication of protection measures implemented by the cloud data centres will be far beyond those affordable to most on-premise based businesses.
Agility and Mobility:
On site hardware and software is purchased outright by the individual business, and though this brings with it initial flexibility and autonomy in decision making and the outlay of finances, consideration does need to be given to the suitability of the equipment and applications across the life span of the products, to ensure that costly in-house systems do not become obsolete or cumbersome depending on the direction and development of the business.
On premise systems are designed primarily to meet the needs of an organisation’s employees who are by and large working from the company’s base, and as this has been the set up for most businesses – until recently, on premise has tended to be the more prevalent route. Most on premise systems do have the ability to be accessed remotely, but this usually requires the assistance of a third-party solution, and adding an additional link in the chain can bring with it extra exposure and an increased chance of tech or comms issues.
Conversely, the primary benefits of using cloud-based IT are its accessibility, and its capacity to flex quickly to the changing needs of the business. As systems and information are accessed online, team members can work efficiently and uninterrupted from the office, their homes or indeed anywhere they choose and, on any device - all they need is an internet connection. For international companies, and those expanding into new territories this adds an extra benefit of secure global connection.
Over the last few years, being able to flex operations and pivot direction has become an important consideration in business planning, to ensure stability and profitability no matter the landscape. Cloud based IT offers ultimate agility as products and services can be up- and down-scaled as the need requires and changes can be implemented swiftly. Furthermore, using a trusted cloud IT partner means that advice is on hand regarding what set up is the best fit for your business’ current situation.
Cost remains a huge factor in business decision making, and although once purchased, on premise systems can work out less expensive across the lifetime of the equipment, this does assume that purchased systems remain fit for purpose over their total lifespan – and one mustn’t forget the additional costs of staffing for repair and maintenance, and it is wise to also consider the cost of space and power.
With a cloud-based operation there is no requirement for significant upfront expenditure, and many firms find the regular monthly payments associated with cloud IT use, not only easier to budget for, but also dependable on the basis that there is no need for contingency funds to be set aside. Because cloud IT is so agile, companies need only pay for what they require – a reassurance that when times are lean, costs can flex to match. Conversely, when there is a push for business growth or when significant project work necessitates up-scaling of operations, the transparency of cloud-based system costs mean that additional financing can easily be factored in, whether this is for the short or longer term.
We are sure that as you have read through the information above it has been clear that when considering a move to cloud-based computing it is imperative that you choose a partner who is trusted, and who has speed, efficiency, security and functionality at the heart of what they do, and how they operate.