Digital transformation has had a number of knock-on effects on business in relation to managing data storage, streamlining efficiency, enhancing mobility, flexibility, and agility. Many businesses are, in turn, relooking at and comparing different IT infrastructures, including on premise vs cloud, and what their key benefits are. We examine both of these IT infrastructures in more detail below and how they add value to an enterprise.
Deciding between on premise vs cloud
Technology innovation is causing businesses to reimagine and shift their IT infrastructures. This shift has come out of a need for:
- Real-time data analytics and insights that will enhance business making decisions
- Effectively streamlined business operations and processes that enhance performance and efficiency
- Secure data management and storage
- Back-up services
- Workforce mobility that allows employees to collaborate, communicate and connect from anywhere in the world
The two key IT infrastructure solutions that businesses are using to make this a reality include on-premise and cloud computing. Many are still unsure of the differences between the two infrastructures. Let’s explore on premise vs cloud
In simple terms, on-premise refers to an IT infrastructure that is kept onsite at a company’s premises. This is often managed by the company themselves or by a third party. With this kind of infrastructure, all services and on-premise servers are run, managed and maintained from within the business on their own hardware and software. Many companies have chosen to go this route because of the security and compliance measures that this option provides. Two of the main problems with on-premise software and solutions are that they offer less flexibility and are often more expensive in terms of upfront hardware costs.
Innovation in cloud computing has made the cloud a popular solution for businesses in recent years. In this IT infrastructure, all information is stored or housed offsite. In this case, all infrastructure, services, hardware and software are virtually managed by a third-party supplier. The benefit of this is that there are no capital expenses. This solution not only enhances flexibility and reliability, but it allows you to save time on maintenance and upgrading of systems, allowing you to concentrate on your core business objectives and goals.
Various IT infrastructures for businesses to explore and implement
When examining the different IT infrastructures for a business, there are many options to explore and implement concerning on-premise and cloud solutions. We have summarised these options below.
- On-premise solutions – an on-premise solution requires in-house physical server hardware, software licenses, integration capabilities, and an IT team on hand to offer support and manage potential issues. This is all necessary as the enterprise would be solely responsible for maintaining this solution, its operations and processes, which is time-consuming. This is often costly and requires a fair amount of storage space and maintenance.
- Public cloud solutions – with this type of cloud computing, Cloud Service Provider’s (CSP) make computing resources available to users over the public internet. In this case, the public cloud provider owns, manages, and assumes all responsibility for a data centres hardware and IT infrastructure. It also typically provides high-bandwidth, cloud storage and network connectivity for enhanced performance and quick access to applications and data. These services are sold on demand, and customers only pay for the CPU cycles, storage, or bandwidth that they use.
- Private cloud solutions – computing resources are dedicated to the business, meaning companies can build and manage their own business data centre and cloud infrastructure. Private cloud servers are typically housed onsite on an independent cloud providers infrastructure or built on a rented infrastructure housed offsite. This cloud solution is a popular choice for businesses as it offers more security and control over confidential and sensitive data.
- Hybrid cloud solutions – this is a combination of public and private cloud solutions. This model combines different aspects of both private and public cloud services to provide more flexibility. By using a hybrid cloud model, businesses can find the optimal cloud infrastructure for different applications or workloads.
The decision of which type of IT infrastructure to use is largely dependent on a business’s unique needs, workloads, applications etc. There are several benefits to both options, which we explore in more detail below.
Taking advantage of the best infrastructure for your business
You need to consider a number of elements when choosing an IT infrastructure for your specific business needs. The solution’s value can often be assessed in relation to its benefits and what that means for your business and its needs. Below we compare on premise vs cloud benefits
The benefits of a Cloud solution:
- Accessibility – this solution allows you to host all of your data and systems via a secure, high speed private link. Allowing you to access your data quickly, efficiently and from anywhere.
- Affordability – with a cloud solution you only pay for what you use. You will also avoid upfront hardware costs, maintenance costs, software upgrades, utility costs, and the manpower needed to maintain and manage this all thereby reducing the operating expense.
- Maintenance – with this service, all your maintenance upgrades, compliance, and software licenses are taken care of by your service provider, saving you time.
- Scalability – the cloud allows for scalability, which means you are able to increase or decrease server resources, bandwidth and internet usage when you need it, depending on your business needs and demands.
- Security – the cloud has optimised security processes ensuring that your data is protected against potential threats, downtime or IT failures. This also allows for full backups and disaster recovery, which gives you peace of mind.
- Deployment options – possibly the most significant advantage of a cloud solution is its fast deployment. Cloud software can be installed and implemented within minutes, enhancing your flexibility and agility and giving you a competitive edge.
The benefits of an on-premise solution:
- Control – an on-premise solution has the added benefit of enhanced control. Since you have ownership of the hardware, data, and software, you can make changes, configurations, and upgrades according to your business needs.
- Connectivity – since all elements of this solution are on-premise, you are not reliant on external factors, like internet connectivity, to access your servers and programs.
- Cost – Although the upfront costs of this kind of solution are high, the total cost of ownership is often lower compared to the recurring payments if spread over the systems entire lifecycle.
- Customisation – Possibly the most significant benefit of this kind of solution is customisation. An on-premise application can be completely customised to suit your business needs, objectives and requirements.
Best practices when making the shift from on-premise to cloud migration
With digital technology evolving and competition within business enhancing, many businesses are looking at ways to improve operations, efficiency and profitability. For many businesses, this has meant reexamining their IT infrastructure and considering a shift from on-premise solutions to migrating to the cloud. This is not a decision that should be made lightly, and many elements need to be examined. These include:
- Looking at your businesses unique needs and requirements and examining the benefits of various IT infrastructures.
- Researching CSP’s, their solutions and how this would be implemented in your business.
- Map out the migration strategy, which will need to include the time taken for the migration, downtime considerations, what is required from your team and any risks involved.
- Ensure that your network is optimised and that the migration is possible and will work effectively.
- Ensure your employees are trained on the cloud platforms that you are implementing to ensure that they can adapt to the new platforms to minimise downtime and disruptions to operations.
- Look at ways to optimise your operations and cloud solutions through automation to enhance effectiveness and improve overall efficiency.
- Monitor your cloud usage, compliance and security elements to ensure that you are not overspending and that your information and data is secure and safe.
- Leverage your service provider support whenever you need it to ensure that you and your team have the support necessary to ensure that the migration to the cloud is seamless.
Many service providers have noticed a need to ensure that there are both on premise and cloud solutions available for customers and their immediate business needs and objectives. Adapt IT Telecoms is one of these service providers. Adapt IT’s Corporate Customer Self Service solution is available as both an on premise or cloud based solution. This allows you to implement this solution with the IT infrastructure you have available or that you feel is right for your business and its requirements.
The way businesses are operating is changing, and cloud technology is a large part of this. Business is harnessing technology to enhance productivity, efficiency, and profitability. In the coming years, we expect more businesses to follow suit with cloud migration due to its benefits and the value that many businesses may get from this migration which includes agility, flexibility, scalability and cost savings.
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As the Global Head of Marketing and Business Development with 20 years of experience, Agnieszka’s expertise lies in the practical implementation of digital and traditional marketing strategies for B2C and B2B companies. Through her long-term, client-focused, strategic approach, and branding experience, she continues to develop innovative marketing plans that yield significant results. Now working in the SaaS industry, she oversees a multitude of solutions within the telecommunications industry including Customer Experience & Self-service, VAS, NextGen, IoT, FinTech, and Advanced Analytics.