When you run a company – whether big, medium, or small – you are constantly put in the condition of making a remarkable number of crucial decisions, one of them concerns the way you collect, record, store, manage and organize your business’ data; or, in more general terms, the way you administer your workflow.
There are many systems, protocols, and methodologies to do that. Still, in the internet era, they are basically divided into two categories: on one side, we have on-premise systems, software, and applications, which allow a company to manage everything internally.
On the other one, we have cloud-based systems, which rely on a third party (notably a provider that puts at the client’s disposal its Cloud platform) to allocate a company’s data while keeping them available for those who have to work on/with them.
Each of these systems has its pros and cons, and both must be considered before choosing one.
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In short, having on-premise software allows a company to keep full control of its data and enhances its level of security since no one outside the company itself can have full access to them.
On the other hand, a cloud platform allows a company to store its data, providing them with virtually unlimited capacity.
Moreover, with a cloud, the company is not forced to keep an internal server, with all the additional burdens that this kind of hardware implies. This means having a dedicated staff in charge of keeping the servers safe and efficient and spending a lot of money on hardware maintenance).
That being said, we can sum up the main differences between an on-premise or a cloud managing system in the following points.
- An on-premise solution implies an in-house hosting of servers with all the charges related to their maintenance. While a cloud defers to an external party all the expenses and the additional work necessary to keep the servers working and efficient.
- An on-premise system means a non-negligible series of additional costs to the company. Besides the hardware’s maintenance, there are the power consumption and the employment of technicians appointed to ensure its proper functioning. Quite the opposite, the only cost of a cloud service is a periodical (typically monthly) fee, which could vary only based on the amount of storage space needed.
- An on-premise system allows the owner to avoid the worst nightmare of every sensitive data holder: to be – even if just temporarily – unable to access them. Vice versa, though it is very unlikely to happen, there isn’t any cloud service provider able to ensure at 100% that their servers wouldn’t crash and the data stored in them wouldn’t be unreachable for an undefined period.
- An on-premise facility is only accessible by authorized personnel. At the same time, a cloud system could be hacked with all these entails. Like, for example, theft of sensitive data (login credentials, digital identities, personal information).
Despite that, the best providers constantly upgrade their anti-hacking systems, making their digital environments relatively safe and reliable.
As we can see, there isn’t a perfect solution suitable for every company and every enterprise: each subject must detect the fittest one based on its specific needs.
Nevertheless, an additional factor puts the cloud computing solution on the lead, and it’s not the remarkable financial savings that it implies. We’re talking about the reduced environmental impact that a cloud entails compared to on-premise hardware.
Cloud providers tend to optimize their power consumption much more than any company could ever do, and this leads to a significant reduction of noxious emissions.
In other words, relying on a cloud system means helping the environment and saving a lot of money simultaneously, with a pretty high level of security (assuming that you choose a reputable provider). That is not bad for a relatively new technology.