Is your head in the cloud? Maybe it ought to be. 

It’s estimated that three in five businesses have some, or all of their data stored in the cloud. This figure accounts for 90% of the largest enterprises, who have adopted a multi-cloud infrastructure. 

But, just because cloud is on the rise, it that doesn’t necessarily mean a wholesale migration of your infrastructure to the cloud will be the best fit for your business. 

There are still many ways on premise storage, software, and applications might be the best way of working for your company. At the very least, you’re going to want to weigh up the cost, security, flexibility, and maintenance benefits before deciding anything – because, when all things are considered, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

So, let’s take a look at cloud vs on premise storage, and discover which is best for your business. 


Cloud vs on premise: side by side comparison



On premise

One of the major benefits of an on premise setup is that it can be configured to best serve your business. 

All the software, data, applications, and hardware you need to enable the best business operations is on-site, allowing you to update and upgrade however and whenever you need. 


The cloud

With servers hosted off-site by a third party, you are able to choose the applications and technologies that suit you best. In some instances, such as public cloud, this includes only paying for the data you use. This creates an entirely bespoke package of support that can evolve on a daily basis. 

Because your cloud host will have everything pre-configured, you can get nearly instant provisioning of different services. When you subscribe to a new feature, application or software, it will be ready to use instantly.


Want to learn more about the flexibility of on premise servers vs cloud solutions? Download your copy of ‘public, private and hybrid cloud: what you need to know’.

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On premise

On premise servers give you the ability to see – and control – who has access to data, software, and files. 

IT managers will also be able to control what happens to those files when they are downloaded, and to ensure files are ‘clean’ when they are being uploaded. For some companies, this level of security will always be of paramount importance.


The cloud

If you’re debating whether you should choose on premise vs cloud, there’s one stand-out question: do my team work, or want to work, remotely?

The cloud enables the sharing of data and applications to a degree that on-premise infrastructure struggles to attain. 

Workers, team members and partners around the world able to access the same database, no matter where they are or what time of day they are trying to access it. This allows for seamless collaboration, providing your customer with the exact same customer service experience. 



On premise

On premise IT infrastructure is not immune to security threats, including:

  • External security breaches, such as cyber crime.
  • On-site risks, such as theft, vandalism, or ‘act-of-god’ events.

That said, it is still generally accepted that on premise is the most secure way to host your infrastructure. When data, software, and applications are all licensed and residing on premise, there is greater protection than with a cloud infrastructure. 

Holding data on premise, however, is beneficial for businesses who hold a strict level of data compliance. This includes governmental and financial institutions that hold sensitive data.


The cloud

When done properly, the cloud is as secure as on premise computing. 

Migrating any part of your operations to the cloud will mean encryption and external server storage in order to meet data management and privacy obligations. 

You’ll need to think carefully about how your team will access the cloud, and what they’re able to do. Too much user freedom could lead to sprawl, when data, files, or software find their way on to devices over which you have no control. To minimise potential risks, you should implement a strict, structured infrastructure and employee digital code of conduct. 


For more information on how secure each of these storage methods are, and what this means for your business, download your copy of ‘public, private and hybrid cloud: what you need to know’.

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On premise

When comparing on premise vs. cloud, there’s no denying that the upfront costs of an on-premise IT solution far surpass the cloud, including staffing and maintenance costs. 

However, the ongoing costs could be drastically less, depending on the level of cloud services required and the integrity of your in-house hardware. 


The cloud

Having your infrastructure in the cloud means your systems become an operational expense rather than a capital one. 

You’ll save on all the upfront costs that come with having your infrastructure on site, including buildings, power, staff, and hardware. Add to that the cost of replacing and disposing of a defunct kit, and the savings are not insignificant.


On-premise vs. cloud storage: which is best for my business? 

When choosing between on premise and cloud storage, there’s one stand-out winner: the cloud.

Offering more flexibility, simplified cross-company collaboration, and minimal costs, the cloud is an affective tool for any business looking to upscale. This is especially true for public cloud, which allows businesses to increase, or decrease, server usage instantly. This provides businesses with the cost affective infrastructure they need to cope with seasonal events, such as Black Friday sales.

However, depending on your business model, a sole cloud solution may not be the answer. Or, depending on your deployment method, you may temporarily have a part on-site, part cloud solution. This is more commonly known as hybrid cloud.

With three types of cloud solutions available for your business, public, private and hybrid cloud, it’s vital to understand each of these, and ultimately how you can best utilise them within your business. Then, with the right foresight and planning, this will help you to create a clear path and roadmap to cloud connectivity, as you understand the limitations of each storage solution, and can plan accordingly. 


Learn everything you need to know about cloud computing

Don’t have a lot of time? Our 12-minute, no-nonsense guide thoroughly explains the differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions. Discover your perfect solution today by downloading your copy now.

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