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Finding the Balance between Onsite Vs Cloud Services

By admin on August 29th 2017

Completely migrating to the cloud is often presented as your business’ only option left. Onsite services have gone the way of the dinosaurs, or so it seems. Even though secure cloud solutions are providing an ever-changing range of benefits, many Atlantic Canadian businesses still prosper from a balance of the two technologies. Finding the right blend for your business depends on your individual needs, size, and industry, but there are several considerations to keep top-of-mind as you assemble the optimum IT infrastructure.

Your IT Scalability

Businesses are dynamic by nature. Technology solutions are at their most effective when they are able to readily expand and shrink as situations demand. In this arena, cloud computing solutions dominate. Cloud services are designed around a pay per usage model. Companies are not billed for any extraneous server space, functionality, licenses, or backups other than what they currently need.

Microsoft Office 365 allows new employees to instantly hit the ground running as you add a license to the existing account. Azure Site Recovery allows you to replicate your server data, switch to backups when needed, and switch back once servers are replaced or repaired. These solutions and others like them empower businesses to respond to changes in a flexible and controlled way.

Accessibility

There’s no dispute that your business needs IT solutions that are available when necessary. Any interruption of service impedes operations, productivity, and revenue generation. Because access to cloud services is internet based, an interruption can derail a number of crucial business capabilities at once.

The DDoS attack of 2016 that knocked out the East Coast of the United States did more than just prevent browsing. Any business that relied upon cloud solutions for their primary services were unable to put those to good use. That is the challenge with cloud computing. Though Cloud providers like Microsoft Azure and AWS take great care to design highly available and highly security data centers, companies risk being left in the lurch when (rare) outages prevent access to those systems.

Though onsite hardware is more expensive to get at the same level of performance, outages are under your direct control. Using Operations Management tools will help to effectively monitor your onsite and/or Cloud solutions allowing you to respond faster to issues.

Your Compliance and Security

Canadian laws, both federal and provincial, designed to protect private information place the burden of that protection on businesses. Public disclosure of private information or breaches of confidence risk hefty consequences (learn more about those consequences and possible solutions by downloading our Cybersecurity eBook). Because data breaches are reaching unprecedented levels, businesses need to find solutions that secure their sensitive information.

Choosing either onsite or cloud services for particular functions depends on how vendors approach security. With onsite solutions, security procedures are directly in your control. Whether or not they meet compliance and security standards is all in your hands. Most cloud providers work to remain current with national and international trends, but verifying their commitment to cybersecurity before signing an agreement is crucial.

On the plus side, larger vendors increasingly have dedicated teams of employees committed to staying current with the latest cybersecurity trends, keeping your business and sensitive data from being at risk.  Secure cloud storage solutions are improving client-side encryption, authentication, and even backups through the subject matter expertise of their teams. Preparation and training expenses are left to professionals who understand how to overcome cybersecurity threats to businesses.  

Customization

In the past, cloud computing services were limited in their scope of deliverables. With each passing minute, that is less and less the case. There is an ever-expanding spectrum of cloud solutions at your disposal, which means that the options available to your business are more in line with your specific needs.

In a perfect world, building an onsite solution from scratch would be the greatest way to customize your technical solution. However, there are cloud solutions that can get you as close to your target capabilities as you need. That way, your business can access close to your desired functionality outside of the box without waiting for the product to be developed.

Operational Cost

Are you competing at the enterprise level? The median speed and performance of business technologies has edged considerably above the levels of a few years ago. To get onsite solutions that perform at the same level as cloud solutions requires businesses to dedicate a considerable amount of their tech budgets to it. Frankly, that’s not practical.

If your business wants IT budget planning efforts to maximize available allocated funds, cloud computing solutions are often the most economical choice. They deliver a high level of performance and reliability without the expenses that would be associated with sophisticated hardware. That’s why cloud solutions stand head and shoulders above onsite alternatives.

Is It Really a Question of Onsite Vs. Cloud Services?

The truth is there are unique advantages to both types of technology. By creating a more hybrid solution, organizations are capable of determining exactly which solutions will boost their productivity and protect their business in the best way.

Want to find the proper solutions for your business? Take our free cloud readiness assessment to find the right balance between onsite and cloud services. 

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