Should You Invest In Hardware or Move to the Cloud?
Regardless of their size, businesses need access to some considerable amounts of data nowadays. This means that even small businesses have situations to consider that not only carries data considerations, but operational considerations. Considering many businesses have shifted to a remote workforce (or some variant of it), it stands to reason that an organization’s hardware investments have to be more strategic than ever before.
Defining Hardware Strategies
On-premise solutions are those that a business keeps in their office, on privately-owned and maintained servers. The actual makeup of these solutions varies from business to business, as it is dictated by each business’ needs.
Cloud solutions are mostly those that are hosted off-premises in data centers filled with servers that are dedicated to providing downtime-free hosting, services, and other computing resources for businesses that rent the space.
Benefits of an On-Premise Solution
One of the primary benefits of a business hosting its own server is the idea that control remains in the business’ hands. If a power outage (which is a basic and common enough business continuity threat) were to happen, a business hosting its own solutions on its own hardware could mitigate it effectively by turning to a backup power source until the outage was resolved. Comparatively, a business relying on cloud-hosted solutions also relies on the cloud provider to prevent downtime.
In a similar vein, a business with control over its infrastructure is therefore in more control over its security. This means that a business can ensure its security is best suited for its environment and needs when its resources are kept in-house. Whether or not this is the case, however, also depends on the business.
Benefits of a Cloud Solution
A cloud-hosted solution is going to be much more cost-effective for a business of any size to implement, but to run for some time, costs may tend to be slightly higher. While you aren’t obligated to pay for any more resources than you need at the moment, the cost of maintenance and management is baked in. Cloud-hosted solutions give you freedom and flexibility to scale your use as needed, however, which keeps costs down.
Additionally, since you won’t be tasked with managing the infrastructure, it frees up your internal teams to focus on other priorities and projects.
Of course, there are drawbacks to choosing exclusively between one or the other option. With on-premise servers, any upgrades are based on your schedule and your business’ financial capabilities, while cloud servers may not always be available (leading to downtime) and potential data security concerns are another issue that an on-premise server doesn’t have.
This is why many businesses settle somewhere in the middle and elect to use both, in what is called a hybrid cloud, utilizing the best of both worlds. This carries with it additional cost as well, but the control you have over mission-critical parts of your business’ IT infrastructure can be worth it for the right business.
The IT professionals at White Mountain IT Services can help you determine which of these options is best for your business. To talk to one of our consultants today give us a call at 603-889-0800.