As opposed to normal computing, cloud computing allows you to access services, applications, and hardware over the internet at a fee or for free without having to own any infrastructure. However, there are both pros and cons to consider with cloud computing; including user access, cost, scalability and if an on-premises solution is more compatible.
What is it?
Cloud computing refers to the distribution of various computing services, such as applications and infrastructures through the internet (cloud) to your virtual device. It allows organisations and individuals to gain access to a myriad of services, applications, and hardware by renting rather than owning.
Usually, it is economical for an organisation to adopt cloud computing as opposed to the alternative. Here are a few reasons why:
You can save on your IT support depending on your size by adopting cloud computing to cater to the most basic needs in terms of infrastructure and services. Cloud computing enables you to concentrate more on your core functions by outsourcing IT operations and other services into the cloud without a large upfront cost.
Moreover, it offers a novel method that any institution can adapt to help alleviate digital workflow easily in a flexible manner. As such, your organisation will be able to collaborate virtually and seamlessly with other departments to attain organisational goals and core values.
Organisations can suffer from limited storage space for their ever-growing data. However, with cloud computing in place, scalability becomes easy. It offers your IT support unlimited storage capacity in a cost-effective manner. In addition to that, it provides different service models for you to able to scale and expand your operation effectively and efficiently.
However, there are issues that are unavoidable with the cloud that an onsite premises solution can assist with:
In many sectors such as finance and healthcare security of data is paramount. Whilst the cloud can provide security, the data still needs to be stored somewhere and that somewhere is Datacentres.
A Datacentre for those that might not know, is a large number of computers networked together by organisations for remote storage and processing. However, many companies must abide by an array of regulations by bodies such as the FCA when it comes to the storage and processing of data and therefore need further security and assurances.
Having an onsite solution means you have the ability to have the comfort of knowing your data is onsite and you can have physical backups as part of business continuity.
As mentioned, using the cloud means that it is utilising a Datacentre that could be hundreds of miles away. Accessing the cloud can become a problem due to bandwidth constraints within the final mile, or flat out no connection to the cloud servers, this can grind a business to a halt.
Additionally, while the cloud may be a cost-effective model for some, its subscription service model means that in the long run, the total cost of ownership may be higher, and you never truly own the product/service. With an on-premises solution, the up-front cost of the licenses means that it may be more cost-effective while having full ownership!
Cloud computing can offer numerous benefits to your institution if it is the right fit. An onsite solution can also offer a strong, stable infrastructure to your IT. There is even a hybrid solution that can offer the versatility of both. However, you must consider your business needs in order to reap more benefits that will improve its performance. Talk to your IT support team and they will be able to help devise the best plan for you.