Cloud vs. “on prem” is the dilemma that most businesses come up against today. On-premise IT storage is the more traditional method that preceded the arrival of the Cloud. It involves servers, operating systems and a range of hardware being set up on site with the business, maintained upgraded and managed by an in-house IT team. The Cloud, on the other hand, takes all of this off site – a third party provider delivers a scalable range of services via the internet, from software through to storage. So, how do you decide which is the best one for you?The benefits of on-premise IT storage
- If you have the resources then you can set up your IT infrastructure exactly as you want it. You have complete control over all the hardware and how it is used, maintained and secured when you have your own data centre.
- Your hardware is in your hands. From compliance through to security, some people prefer to rely on their own internal team to ensure that laws and regulations are complied with and systems are made safe.
- Customisation is down to you. You have the power to customise your IT systems precisely as you want to and, as long as you’ve got the cash, you can create a bespoke system for your business.
- Expertise on site. If you’ve built your own team of experts then they are always on hand 24/7 to deal with a crisis or situation where swift action is required.
The benefits of Cloud IT storage
- It’s far more cost effective. There is no hardware to purchase, no permanent staff to pay and no need to worry about having to cover the cost of upgrades and replacements in the future.
- Economies of scale mean higher service quality. Cloud providers can leverage economies of scale to make it cheaper to get a better overall service. For example, the spend on security by a Cloud provider is far in excess of what most individual businesses could afford but the cost for all those businesses together is less and the standard of protection is higher.
- Customisable and flexible. Cloud providers have evolved to recognise that one of the most attractive features of their service is flexibility. As a result, there’s an enormous range of cost effective choices of configurable options. Best of all, these can be simply scaled up or down as the business changes without the associated costs that would be generated for a similar on-premise response.
- Cloud providers recognise the need for 24/7 support. No, it’s not going to be quite the same as having your own IT team on call around the clock. However, a Cloud service is almost as responsive – in some cases more so – and the high level of expertise with a specialist third party provider often means that problems can be spotted earlier and dealt with more swiftly.
And if you do decide on the Cloud then there are a number of options to choose from, including:
Microsoft Office 365 – all the familiar Microsoft tools available online.
Microsoft Azure – a flexible cloud platform that is designed to help businesses build, deploy and manage applications at speed.
A private cloud – a bespoke platform, tailored for maximum control, security and privacy.
A public cloud – simple to set up, secure and very cost effective.
A hybrid cloud – an effective combination of the security and bespoke nature of a private cloud with the flexibility and cost advantages of a public cloud.