“Enterprises predict they’ll invest on average
$3.5M on cloud apps, platforms, and services this year.” – IDG
Cloud computing has become a buzz term, and with good reason. It is popular with many organisations and the cause of it being so pervasive is the flexibility, among other key benefits, that it offers.
To relate one example, today, your website runs in the cloud, the databases that store information related with your products which you sell online run in the cloud, the payment gateway that facilitates your online transactions runs in the cloud and the application that secures your website and related assets from cyberattacks runs in the cloud.
Further, you do not need to set up and maintain high-end infrastructure, but, rather, pay only for services which you use and do not need to worry about upgrading the system as it is done by service providers you may use, such as Amazon, Google or Microsoft. This makes cloud computing very cost-effective and can dramatically help a startup or small business to grow and scale.
So, then, cloud-based systems are the best option?
For many organisations, yes, but not for a lot of them. Consider the following question: What if you are a large organisation, a bank, an insurance company or a hospital, a government organisation, or a defence contractor? Chance are that you will be bound by privacy laws or vendor contracts that require you to protect your customers’ / patients’, product development or usage data using a particular security standard?
If you are such an organisation, you need to install and maintain the IT systems and data management infrastructure and likely will have a compliance department that will ensure the security and integrity of the data which you are entrusted with. In this case you will opt to store such data on your premises as then you can have more, and very specific, control over who has access to store, update and secure such data.
In addition to having these systems on-premise, you will have security servers with firewalls and antivirus protection, a network monitoring system that monitors all your connected devices, applications and an IT notification management platform such as sendQuick that will alert you should any part of your IT infrastructure performs suboptimally or experiences unplanned downtime.
In summary, generally speaking, whether you need a cloud-based or on-premise system depends on your organization type, size, usage and whether your industry is subject to governmental privacy regulation.