On-premise or cloud IT solutions? Is cloud always the best way for SME businesses?

You’ve heard of the cloud and how it could benefit your business. But every company or organisation has different needs so it is not always a cut-and-dried proposition. So when it comes to on-premise or cloud IT solutions, is cloud always the best way for SME businesses?

Ins and outs of each

Let’s examine the ins and outs of each.

Cloud vs on-premises

In recent years, cloud IT solutions have grown in popularity, especially with SMEs, but there are also many benefits in going with a traditional on-premises system.

The first thing you need to know is the main difference between the two systems is how they are used:

• Cloud-based software is hosted on the vendor’s servers and accessed through a Web browser. So you need reliable internet connectivity. So effectively it is off site.
• On-premise software is installed on your company’s premises and means you would store the computers and servers locally.

How to choose

Choosing either is often determined by price. For example, it’s common for cloud-based systems to be priced on a monthly or annual subscription basis, with additional recurring fees for support, training and updates.

The expenditure for on-premises equipment is likely, initially at least, to be higher as physical equipment is generally considered a capital expenditure.

Cloud-based systems, on the other hand, are typically considered an operating expenditure (an additional overhead cost the organisation will continue to pay).

But it’s not just cost you need to weigh up, as each system has its strengths and weaknesses. Here is an overview.

Cloud IT solutions – considerations

• Cost-effective and cost is predictable
• Usually No extra hardware costs
• Data security is in the hands of the vendor
• Your business can work with the vendor to see how it can be customised to suit your needs, though there may be restrictions
• Fast to implement

On-premises solutions – considerations

• Initial costs may be higher, though studies have shown they even out over time
• Security is in your business’ hands (However you can usually organise a managed service agreement or some kind of maintenance plan with most vendors)
• There is greater scope to customise
• Your business has more control how it is implemented, though it can take time

Assessing both – overall considerations

If you are veering more towards an on-premises solution, you may want to consider mobile accessibility. These often require a third-party client to communicate between a mobile device and the on-premise software. It’s not an insurmountable problem, but it can be pain point if not considered at the design stage.
• Most cloud systems enable easy mobile accessibility, and many even offer native mobile apps. But this ease of access also comes with greater security considerations, especially if employees are accessing company files on their personal mobile devices.
• On-premise systems are generally easier to customise. For many businesses, the ability to customise is paramount – especially in niche industries.

If you are unsure which solution would be the better fit for your business, speak with the Technical Team at Ginko IT today.

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