Cloud computing is gaining popularity. It offers companies enhanced security, ability to move all enterprise workloads to the cloud without needing upfront huge infrastructure investment, gives the much-needed flexibility in doing business and saves time and money.
This is why 83% of enterprise workload will be in the cloud and on-premise workloads would constitute only 27% of all workloads by this year, according to Forbes.
But there are factors to consider before choosing to migrate all your enterprise workload to the cloud or choosing on-premise deployment model.
There is no one size fits it all approach. It depends on your business and IT needs. If your business has global expansion plans in place, the cloud provides much greater appeal. Migrating workloads to the cloud enables data to be accessible to anyone with an internet-enabled device.
Without much effort, you are connected to your customers, remote employees, partners and other businesses.
On the other hand, if your business is in a highly regulated industry with privacy concerns and with the need for customising system operations then the on-premise deployment model may, at times, be preferable.
To better discern which solution is best for your business needs we will highlight the key differences between the two to help you in your decision making.
With cloud infrastructure, security is always the main concern. Sensitive financial data, customers’ data, employees’ data, list of clients and much more delicate information is stored in the on-premise data center.
To migrate all this to a cloud infrastructure, you must have conducted thorough research on the cloud provider’s capabilities to handle sensitive data. Renowned cloud providers usually have strict data security measures and policies.
You can still seek a third-party security audit on the cloud providers you want to choose, or even better yet, consult with a cloud security specialist to ensure your cloud architecture is constructed according to the highest security standards and answers all our needs.
As for on-premise infrastructure, security solely lies with you. You are responsible for real-time threat detection and implementing preventive measures.
One major advantage of adopting cloud infrastructure is its low cost of entry. No physical servers are needed, no manual maintenance cost and no heavy cost incurred from the damage on physical servers. Your cloud providers are responsible for maintaining the virtual servers.
Having said that, Cloud providers use a pay as you go model. This can skyrocket your operational costs when administrators are not familiar with the cloud pricing models. Building, operating and maintaining a cloud architecture that maximises your cloud benefits, while maintaining cost control - is not as easy as it sounds, and requires quite a high level of expertise. For that, a professional cloud cost optimization specialist can ensure you get everything you paid for, and not bill-shocked by any unexpected surplus fees.
On the other hand, On-premise software is usually charged on a one-time licence fee. On top of that, in-house servers, server maintenance and IT professionals to deal with any potential risks that may occur. This does not account the time and money lost when a system failure happens, and the available employees don’t have the expertise to contain the situation.
On-premise IT infrastructure offers full control to an enterprise. You can tailor your system to your specialized needs. The system is in your hands and only you can modify it to your liking and business needs.
With cloud infrastructure, it’s a bit more tricky. In order to customise cloud platform solutions to your own organisational needs, you need high level expertise to plan and construct a cloud solution that is tailored to your organisational requirement.
When your company is expanding its market reach it’s essential to utilise cloud infrastructure as it doesn’t require huge investments. Data can be accessed from anywhere in the world through a virtual server provided by your cloud provider, and scaling your architecture is fairly easy (especially if your initial planning and construction were done right and aimed to support growth).
With an on-premise system, going into other markets would require you to establish physical servers in those locations and invest in new staff. This might make you think twice on your expansion plans due to the huge costs.
Which is the best?
Generally, On-premise deployment model is suited for enterprises which require full control of their servers and have the necessary personnel to maintain the hardware and software and frequently secure the network.
They store sensitive information and rather invest in their own security measures on a system they have full control over than have their data move to the cloud.
Small businesses and large enterprises- Apple, Netflix, Instagram, alike move their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud due to the flexibility of expansion and growth and low cost of entry. No need for the huge upfront investment on infrastructure and maintenance.
With the various prebuilt tools and features, and the right expert partner to take you through your cloud-journey - you can customise the system to cater to your needs, while upholding top security standards, and optimising ongoing costs.
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