Cloud vs On-premise digital infrastructure, which one is better?


One of the most frequent doubts for companies when trying to acquire infrastructure for their business is whether they should reinvest in “irons” or start migrating to the cloud.

Although cloud systems have become very popular in recent years and it is impossible to deny their extensive benefits; however, it is common to observe how some leaders still debate between both options and ask themselves which option is more secure, accessible, scalable, etc.

What is the cloud solution?

These solutions allow you to manage, store and access your data and applications through the internet quickly and efficiently. This eliminates the need to purchase physical infrastructure located within the building.

Cloud software is characterised by improving mobility, reducing investment costs, reducing implementation times and being scalable very quickly.

What is an on-premises solution?

On-premise software is installed on the company’s local servers and devices. This allows physical access to information and direct control of the configuration, management and security of that data. The on-premise software does not depend directly on an internet connection, so if there is a failure in the links, the company will be able to continue operating.

Advantages of Cloud

Remote access – You can access your applications remotely from anywhere via a web browser.

Affordable – The cloud requires no upfront costs, instead, you make regular payments which makes it an operating expense (OpEx).

Worry-free – Hence the cloud solution is hosted for you, you don’t need to worry about the maintenance of your software or the hardware used by the cloud, compatibility and upgrades are taken care of by the cloud service provider.

High levels of security – Data centres employ security measures beyond the affordability of most businesses, therefore your data is usually safer in the cloud than on a server in your offices.

Quick deployment – Cloud-based software is deployed over the Internet in a matter of hours/days or an instant compared to on-premise applications which need to be installed on a physical server and each PC or laptop.

Scalability – Cloud technologies provide greater flexibility as you only pay for what you use and can quickly scale to meet demand.

Lower energy costs – When you move to the cloud, you no longer have to pay to power on-premise servers or to maintain their environment. This significantly reduces the amount you pay for your energy bills but it may increase your digital payment bills as well.

The Drawbacks

Connectivity – Cloud solutions require reliable and stable internet access for you to remain productive.

Long-term costs – Although requiring a lower initial investment, cloud applications can be more costly over the course of the system’s life cycle, which may lead to an increase in the total cost of ownership (TCO).

Less customisable – Cloud software is typically configurable but depending on how it is hosted a cloud solution may be difficult to have the compliant configuration to your desired system.

On-Premise Advantages

Total Cost of Ownership – Since you are only paying for your user licences once, an on-premise solution can have a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) (as mentioned above) than a cloud system.

Complete control – Your data, hardware and software platforms are all yours. You decide on the configuration, the upgrades and the system changes and their usage.

Uptime – With on-premise systems, you do not rely on internet connectivity to access your software.

The Drawbacks

Large capital expenditure – On-premise systems usually require large initial purchases which means capital expenditure (CapEx) is often required. On top, you need to include maintenance costs to ensure support and functionality upgrades.

Responsibility for maintenance – With an on-premise system, you are responsible for maintaining server hardware and software, data backups, storage and disaster recovery. This can be an issue for smaller companies that have limited budgets and technical resources.

Longer implementation times – On-premise implementations take longer time to complete installations on servers and each individual computer/laptop.

Which Is The Right For My Business?

There is no right or wrong answer to the cloud vs on-premise software dilemma. Every customer is different and has different requirements that will influence the choice of deployment strategy. There are a number of questions to ask before finalising your cloud vs on-premise software decision:

  • Can you afford the initial investment required in an on-premise solution?
  • Do you have the tools or technology to ensure top-level security?
  • How much is it important for you to have access to the latest functionality and compatibility updates?

Spread the word