Stay On-Prem or Move to the Cloud – The Pros and Cons

Cloud drawing on chalk board with lightbulb inside of it.

There are more options than ever before when it comes to managing your applications and data. With the rapid evolution of cloud computing solutions, more companies are looking at this as a solution to a lot of problems. How far will it go and is this the right time for your business to move to a cloud-based solution for your company? Forrest Stroud with Webopedia identifies the term “on-prem” or “on-premises” as software and technology that is located in a dedicated physical space. Keeping applications and data in an on-prem environment has always been the standard requirement for companies but with the rise of cloud computing, they are beginning to look at different alternatives. The following discusses the pros and cons of a cloud computing environment versus keeping data on-prem.

The Cloud Offers Nearly Unlimited Storage

Storage capacity is a concern for companies. With an on-prem data and application storage approach, there is a finite amount of space available. As the company expands its technology, more space for hardware storage becomes a concern. The cloud pretty much takes this concern away. When applications and data are stored in the cloud, there is nearly unlimited storage available. Even companies that believe they have “all the space they’ll ever need” have had to eat their words and expand their data center. The cloud gives plenty of room to stretch and expand.

The Cloud is Less Expensive

On-prem data storage space takes a lot of financial resources. A temperature-controlled environment that can take up a significant amount of square footage isn’t cheap. License fees for each individual terminal can also get very costly. When cloud computing is used, everything gets cheaper. The need for a heated and cooled data storage area goes away. The overall budget for technology-related expenses can be drastically reduced. More businesses are able to put their money behind other technological innovations instead of having to spend money maintaining what they already have. It’s definitely a win-win situation for virtually any sized business.

The Cloud Saves Time

When data is located on a piece of hardware, it becomes necessary to back-up the data frequently. At one point in time, back-ups were a huge headache that was neverending. With cloud solutions, data is not physically present on a local device so you don’t have to worry about a fire, earthquake, tornado or other natural disasters. All of the time spent by employees routinely backing-up systems go away with a cloud computing option. Those employees are then free to work on other important projects that will be more profitable for the company. 

Take Your Work Anywhere

On-prem application and data storage means that your files are stuck in one place. While this was the standard for years, the cloud has made this a thing of the past. With cloud computing, you can log-in and access your programs and files anywhere you can get on the internet. At home, in a restaurant, or across the planet, it doesn’t matter. This big plus in the cloud computing category has allowed more people to work from home and remotely than ever before.

Fast Transition with Cloud Computing

Imagine the time involved in setting up an on-prem network. The time it takes to connect, integrate, and maintain each terminal, not to mention the servers and data storage is enormous. Cloud computing is very much a “plug and play” kind of approach. The system can be ready to go very quickly without the hassle of bothering with infrastructure. Even if you are moving from an on-prem environment to a cloud computing environment, you’ll find that the transition to the cloud is fast and painless.

Some Cons to Using the Cloud

While there are many reasons to utilize the cloud, there are still some areas of concern for many businesses. Being aware of these disadvantages is important for both large and small companies before jumping all the way into a cloud computing environment. The following are some of the things you may want to consider.

Security Concerns

One benefit of an on-prem environment is that you have complete local control of your applications and data. Everything is housed in one location and you can keep your eyes on the physical hardware at all times. It doesn’t help that the news is constantly reporting about data breaches in major corporations. Cybersecurity is a new and rapidly emerging field in the technology world, and for good reason. While cloud computing is doing more every day to improve its security protocols, the end result is that you are still giving your data to a third-party provider. This isn’t necessarily a reason to run from the whole concept. Just make sure you are doing your homework when selecting a cloud computing provider.

Cloud Computing Technical Errors

One nice thing about an on-prem approach is that if there’s a technical problem requiring maintenance, you can deal with it locally. This usually means that the problem gets solved quickly. If there’s a problem with the cloud service provider, it’s impacting the cloud on a larger level that you can’t control. This happens to every cloud provider from time-to-time, and some are far more efficient about fixing problems than others. It’s frustrating when you can’t access your files and applications because of a cloud error, so this is another point worth considering when you are considering a cloud-based solution.

The End Result

There are a lot of reasons why the cloud may be the perfect solution for your business. But not every cloud computing provider is the same. It’s important to consider the potential concerns of technical errors in the cloud and how rapidly they are equipped to handle those problems. It is also important to know the measures potential cloud computing providers take to combat potential security threats. On the whole, cloud computing can be the answer to a lot of problems for companies large and small. If you’re ready to take the next steps toward a cloud computing environment, speak with a Provato technologist to learn more about our cloud-based software solutions.