Cloud vs On-Premise: Which Solution Provides Better Security
No business owner likes it when their work gets disrupted due to circumstances outside their control.
They like it even less so when it happens because of things that were in their control.
Your IT system backend is one of the most important and the most underlooked components of your enterprise.
While unreliable suppliers and absent employees can (and do) cause a world of trouble, it is an IT failure that takes the cake by effectively crippling your operations in one fell swoop.
This is why every business owner needs to invest not only a well-performing IT setup but also take steps toward securing it.
But finding the right security solution for your IT framework is not a simple matter.
Along with the traditional ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) suits offered by various companies, there are also many cloud-based IT systems on the offer.
Cloud, or on-premise; which is the better option?
The Advantages of Cloud Computing Systems
Originally, the only way a company could take advantage of information technology was by setting up computing systems of their own.
This meant additional hardware, additional space to house it, and the additional staff needed to operate the systems.
And not to forget the software licenses to be actually able to run that fancy hardware.
Then came the cloud.
With the increasingly high speeds of data connectivity, it suddenly became viable to deliver not only information but rather entire computing services over the web, without any appreciable decline in quality.
This phenomenon of utilizing off-site computer resources via the internet became known as the cloud.
A relatively recent development, cloud computing solutions offer the entire package of enterprise software functions without any actual setup at your end, from fast data storage to high-pressure web hosting, and everything that lies in between.
Moreover, the services offered by the cloud are instantly scalable, making them an excellent option for swiftly expanding startups and small businesses, who may find it difficult to invest in increasing their computing capacity every other day.
The most important aspect of cloud systems is their inherent reliability.
All data stored over the cloud is decentralized over the service provider’s global servers, removing any chance of losing your data to hackers or technical failures.
On top of that, the data is always accessible irrespective of the computer being used, so moving operations is a breeze.
Perhaps an even better advantage is technical support.
As anyone who has ever worked in an office knows, it can be a nightmare to occasionally troubleshoot a simple personal computer issue, let alone maintain an office full of workstations on a daily basis.
The Advantages of On-Premise Systems
For all the advantages of the cloud, most of the major enterprises of the world put their trust on-premise systems.
And it’s not just tradition, or an aversion to change; there are some really good reasons for choosing an on-premise setup over the cloud.
Cloud services offer an extensive array of services, but precious little in the way of customization.
While it covers most standard needs and use cases, if you need something a little different, the cloud might end up disappointing you.
When you take the time and effort to set up your own IT framework, you are rewarded with a much greater level of control and flexibility than is possible by an online third-party provider.
You can use the database of your choice, implement the encryption method of your own decision, and deploy the hardware of your specifications.
By keeping a handle on how your IT setup is being maintained, you can ensure that no unforeseen circumstances throw a wrench into your operations.
If any technical difficulties arise in a cloud service, there is nothing you can do about it, let alone know how long it might take for things to get back on track.
But in an on-premise system, since your own staff is responsible for troubleshooting and support, snags are usually rectified much more quickly.
Even if difficulty persists, you can get an accurate estimate of the downtime expected, allowing you to plan your work around the failure.
Yet perhaps the best advantage of an on-premise system against cloud is the anonymity.
Your data is not shared with any third party storage network, keeping the confidentiality of your customers firmly in your hands.
This is especially important in businesses dealing with the financial aspects of customers since any loss in the private data amounts to real-world damage.
Moreover, by limiting the transmission of the data across the unprotected external internet, you also decrease the chances of malicious hackers intercepting the communication and compromising the information.
Not to mention the decreased chances due to a leak at the end of the cloud service provider.
As we have seen, both cloud and on-premise systems have their own strengths and weaknesses.
That being said, for most use cases, Cloud is the better option.
Unless you have a massive IT framework that houses multiple departments of its own, you are highly unlikely to need the power or the extensive flexibility of an in-house IT setup.
On the other hand, going for a cloud solution immediately gives you access to highly performant hardware without having to spend millions of bucks on state-of-the-art computers.
On the security point of view as well, the cloud wins handily. A cloud service cannot be compromised by simply hacking into your personal hardware, nor can it be easily brought down by Denial-of-Service attacks that plague servers.
Though, if you have the budget, nothing can be more powerful or flexible then an on-premise system.
Since everything is in your hands, from the software being deployed to the staff operating it, you can tweak every aspect to your heart’s content.
With the proper investment, an on-site setup can be far more secure than the generic offerings of the cloud, with specialized security measures for safeguarding your data and internal communications.
Ashley Wilson is a digital nomad writing about business and tech. She takes care of the content for one of the biggest utility software providers, Solvusoft. Thanks to her tech knowledge, she creates numerous articles and guides that help users troubleshoot Windows software issues. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.