Cloud versus On-Premise
Cloud-based services have become increasingly popular with companies of all sizes - particularly small and midsize businesses. The low upfront costs, scalability and flexibility of cloud computing solutions hold considerable appeal for start-ups that might not have the resources needed to implement and maintain the software, infrastructure or platforms they need in house. However, if you're a business owner thinking of making the switch to the cloud, it's important to first consider your company's needs and objectives. The answer to the question "Should I choose on premise or in the cloud?" depends on your unique situation.
Converged Communication Systems specializes in a full range of solutions, including both on premise and hosted/cloud options (in addition to hybrid cloud services). Using a consultative, neutral approach, CCS can help your company find and implement a solution that best fits your business needs. Before you make a decision to use either cloud-based or on premise services, here are just some of the key factors you'll want to consider.
- Total cost of ownership. Calculate the overall expense of operating and owning an on premise solution compared with the cost of a cloud-based service. On premise solutions require more money upfront than cloud-based solutions because of the time and labor required for the implementation process, on top of the cost of required hardware or software.
On the other hand, though, cloud-based services purchased on a subscription basis typically require ongoing monthly or annual payments, which you won't have to worry about with on premise software or infrastructure (although you'll have to handle ongoing maintenance and upgrade costs). Calculating the total cost of ownership before making a decision will shed some light on which approach aligns optimally with your company's financial resources.
- Maintenance and upgrade effort. If you implement an on premise solution, your IT staff will be fully responsible for maintaining the system and implementing any upgrades. By contrast, with cloud-based solutions, your service provider will make upgrades and perform maintenance tasks.
- Scalability and flexibility. One big advantage of the cloud is that it allows you to quickly and easily scale your resources to meet your business needs. This element of cloud-based services appeals to growing businesses in particular, since they can scale up without having to wait for the delivery and installation of additional equipment, such as larger servers and firewalls.
- Mobile access. Today's workforce is increasingly mobile, and cloud services make it easier for telecommuting and traveling employees to access the company network without the need for a secure VPN connection.
- Access to cloud-exclusive applications. Some productivity boosting applications - such as the tools offered by Salesforce, a leading customer relationship management solution provider - are only available to businesses using the cloud.
- Security. Public cloud solutions usually involve multiple users accessing the same servers and utilizing the same networks. Therefore, businesses that need or want to maintain high-level security (e.g., government agencies and financial organizations) might prefer on premise infrastructure, which isn't accessed through the Internet and allows for complete ownership and control of data.
However, there are alternatives to the public cloud, other than on premise solutions. For instance, private cloud solutions involve servers that one organization or group uses exclusively, and they use encryption to create secure network connections.
- Customization. On premise solutions are highly customizable to your business needs, goals and current IT infrastructure. Depending on the cloud solution you're considering (private clouds typically offer more opportunity for customization), on premise might provide a better fit for your company's specific requirements.
- Backup and disaster recovery. Consider the cloud-based service provider's backup and disaster recovery capabilities. Cloud solutions grant access to infrastructure with more redundancy in power, cooling and Internet circuits than many smaller businesses could achieve in house.
When you're deciding between cloud-based and on premise solutions, it's important to do your research and determine which option is best for business growth and success. You might even opt for a hybrid cloud model, using a mix of public cloud, private cloud and on premises services. To learn more about your options, contact Converged Cloud Services at 877-598-3999.