Cloud Computing

The ultimate guide for choosing between cloud and on-premises: Why you need both

Cloud computing is a hot topic these days. With companies such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google all offering their own versions of cloud computing services, it can be hard to know which one is best for your needs.

There are many benefits to both on-premises and cloud-based computing. Cloud-based systems offer scalability, reliability, and flexibility while on-premises have lower operational expenses, security, and control. The best option for your business will depend on your needs and the applications you run.

In this article, we’ll cover which broad factors to consider when choosing between the two models.

When it comes down to choosing between on-premises and cloud computing, you need both. On-premises have lower operational expenses, but cloud is more scalable and reliable. The best option for your business will depend on the needs of your company as well as which applications run better in each model (e.g., email vs CRM software vs Storage).

To make the best decision for your business, you need to weigh the pros and cons of both models. Here are a few things to consider:

Cost: Cloud computing is often seen as more expensive than on-premises systems. However, this isn’t always the case – especially when you factor in the cost of hardware, software, and manpower for an on-premises system. Cloud services can also be more expensive when you need to add capacity (e.g. if your company experiences rapid growth). If you have existing infrastructure in place, it may be cheaper to stay on-premises.

Pricing Models: There are many different cloud service providers that offer a variety of pricing models (e.g., pay per use, subscription-based). It can be difficult to determine which one is best for your business because there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. You need to consider how much you’ll use the service, what features you need and how long you want to commit.

Compatibility: Not all applications are a good fit for the cloud. If you have legacy applications that require dedicated hardware or software, they may not be a good fit for the cloud.

Security: Security is a big concern for many businesses when it comes to cloud computing. However, cloud providers have made significant investments in security technologies and many offer comprehensive security features. On-premises systems are typically more secure, but this also depends on the provider and your specific setup.

Flexibility: Cloud computing offers unmatched flexibility – you can access your data from anywhere in the world and scale up or down as needed. On-premises systems can be more difficult to set up and manage, which makes them less flexible.

Reliability: Cloud computing is more reliable than on-premises systems because providers have redundant servers in multiple locations. If one server goes down, another can take its place without any downtime for users (or at least very little). On-premises systems are typically not as reliable due to hardware failures or other issues that can cause downtime.

Performance: Cloud computing offers better performance than on-premises systems because providers have access to faster servers and data centers with more powerful computers than most businesses could afford. The downside of this is that cloud services tend to be more expensive over time due to maintenance costs as well as licensing fees for software licenses (e.g., Microsoft Office).

Control: Cloud computing gives you less control over your data and applications than on-premises systems because they’re hosted by another company instead of being physically located in your office or home. On the other hand, if something goes wrong with an on-premises system, it could take longer to fix than if you had access directly from your own computer.

Compliance requirements: If you have compliance requirements, the cloud may not be an option. Each provider has its own set of compliance certifications, so make sure to check with the provider before signing up. In the case of an investigation, conducting forensics on Cloud infrastructure is not as straightforward compared to a physical infrastructure. For eg: Data localization may be a regulatory requirement in your industry and you may have to plan your cloud setup with a provider that has local data centres in your geography.

Storage: Cloud storage is often cheaper than on-premises storage because providers can offer economies of scale. For example, Amazon S3 offers unlimited storage for as low as $0.99 per month while Dropbox Business offers unlimited storage starting at just under $15/month (without any additional features).

Vendor lock-in: Cloud providers tend to have more control over your data than on-premises systems because they own the infrastructure and applications that run on it – this means if you want to switch providers it could take longer than if you were using an on-premises solution.

In conclusion, there are pros and cons for each model. The best option for your business will depend on the needs of your company as well as which applications run better in each model (e.g., email vs CRM software). It’s important to consider all of the factors before deciding since some applications may not be compatible with either model and others require more security than what can be provided by a third-party provider like Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The article has been written by Amit Jaju – Senior Managing Director, Ankura Consulting

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