Moving to the cloud offers any business the opportunity to introduce cost efficiency and enjoy a more agile and scalable infrastructure that genuinely supports growth. However, “the cloud” is not one single entity but is comprised of many different choices. If you’re looking at cloud options for business then the key decision will most likely be between public, private or hybrid cloud options.
Public cloud services are a great starting point for any business. As this is a shared infrastructure that is maintained by a third party the costs are much lower than other types of cloud, which tends to make the public cloud more affordable. A range of pay-as-you-go services provide flexibility and enable scalability, as and when required.
Cons: public cloud services are often considered the most vulnerable so it’s important to choose a trustworthy service provider with a solid reputation.
Ideal for: younger businesses, smaller enterprises and those that are keen to take advantage of all the benefits of the cloud without paying a high cost for them.
A private cloud makes a dedicated server available to the business. This has a number of advantages, including ensuring that there is complete control over factors such as data security or application management. With a private cloud performance can be specifically monitored against the needs of the individual business and there is the opportunity to adjust and optimise the service so that it is bespoke to the needs of the business.
Cons: a private cloud setup is the most expensive, as it is also the most dedicated option.
Ideal for: businesses in need of services that require a higher degree of customisation. It’s also a good choice where sensitive data is being handled.
The hybrid cloud brings together the benefits of a customisable private cloud solution with the flexibility and scalability of the public cloud. So, for example, you might require elements of the private cloud for storing highly sensitive information or data but the public cloud for services that are less critical. The hybrid cloud is often seen as the best of both worlds although it’s important to make sure you find a combination that fits.
Cons: the hybrid cloud can take more time and money to establish and manage, as it is partly tailored to the individual organisation.
Ideal for: a good option for smaller enterprises without the resources for a full private cloud investment.