Cloud vs On-Premises has become one of the most deliberated topics within the business world, well, when it comes to IT of course. Obviously, as an IT company specialising in cloud solutions, we are pro cloud. But we understand that it’s not always as simple as just migrating to the cloud. There’s a lot to consider, which is why businesses come to us for support. But seeing as though you’re here, you’re looking for some quick answers as to what makes one more suitable than the other. Well, let’s get to it.
Dealing with legacy apps
At some point over the years, your business will have had a requirement for bespoke software or programs to be loaded onto your computer, most businesses do. A specially built program for your business to work exactly how it needs to and it’s usually hosted on-premises in an in house data centre. The team know it inside out and you can’t live without it. The only problem is that it wasn’t built to run on the cloud or made to integrate with cloud based apps. This is the main issue for businesses looking to go totally cloud based.
It’s not necessarily a case of looking at it as Cloud Vs On-Premises, the most popular options, in this case, would be to opt for a hybrid cloud solution. That way, your IT strategy runs alongside your business and your plans for the future.
At String, we apply the same strategic process to our own IT. We have opted for a hybrid approach and we regularly look at our infrastructure and consider what can be done in the cloud as opposed to on-premise and, over the years, have massively reduced our dependency on anything that isn’t cloud based.
We still have tin in our office. After all, visitor logging systems need a front end. The back end is, however, located in the cloud. We still have accounts systems that are dependent on a local PC. Because of this, we need a hybrid solution. The reasons for this are very simple and very common. We have two line of business applications that need to talk to each other. They require two independent software companies to integrate with each other so that we can go completely cloud based. Which isn’t yet the case. This will eventually happen, and ongoing strategic reviews of our IT systems will factor in when this can happen. For now, like most companies, we are running a hybrid cloud system.
There is nothing wrong with running a hybrid system, it currently suits the business needs. Our cloud-first approach has allowed us to move everything we possibly can into the cloud. This has also allowed us to adapt very quickly to the fast changing home working world. With the systems and the processes we have in place, all of our team, (including those reliant on the office based tin) can work from anywhere.
The benefits of cloud
Which is one of the main reasons cloud trumps on-premises in the cloud Vs on-premises debate. It provides endless flexibility for your team. The benefits of the cloud-based approach are clear. Productivity from the team improves as everyone has access to everything they need. For me, one of the simplest but most effective benefits is being able to work on the same document at the same time. Paul and I regularly work on the same proposal or presentation at the same time with live real-time changes being seen by both of us, despite being miles apart. Simple, but incredibly effective.
Another crucial benefit of cloud technology is security, for a few reasons. Firstly, with cloud hosting you have built-in cyber security, keeping your data protected. Plus, in the event of an emergency or disaster, you won’t lose your business data. God forbid your building burns down or there’s a flash flood, as long as you’ve got a device, your systems are up and running as soon as you are. With cloud hosting it’s offsite and automatically backed up, so in a disaster, you’ve got one less thing to worry about.
I know it sounds like we’re banging on about the cloud, but there’s more. There’s a common misconception that cloud hosting is expensive, but this is usually because it’s not implemented correctly. When done right, you only pay for exactly what you use. With on-premises, there’s a lot of wastage from capacity you don’t use. Plus, when you need more, it’s a case of buying more expensive tin with engineer costs to go with it. Need more cloud capacity? It’s the click of a button.
Why you might stick to On-Premises?
Reasons other than legacy apps as to why you’d want to stay on-premises? Maybe you want your own private network? It can be done on the cloud. Maybe you’re concerned about internet connection. Going cloud-based does require a decent internet connection, however, these days, fast connectivity is the norm. The speed of your internet connection used to be a negative but today, this should no longer be an issue.
It’s our cloud-first approach that perhaps makes us a little bias towards not having any on-premise hardware, but we have experienced the benefits first hand, just as many of our clients have.
So, the answer to what is becoming an age-old question of “Cloud vs On-Premises”, is that you will probably need both, the hybrid solution, with a strategic partner like String providing a cloud-first approach that’s tailored to your business.