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5 Reasons You Should Go Off-Premise and Pick the Cloud

As the public cloud market is set to grow 16 percent to $204 billion this year, the debate rages about whether data warehouses should run on top of the cloud or on-premise – referring to software that runs and is installed on physical infrastructure in the business space.

It’s true that there’s not a perfect, “one-size fits all” solution for each business. For example, depending on the data you’re storing your industry, and geographic location, some regulations may require data to be stored in private, on-premise data warehouses. Yet these cases tend to be the exception, not the rule. As the benefits of shifting data operations to the cloud start to outweigh the perqs of staying on-premise, it may be time for businesses to make the switch.

For these users, here are the key factors that show when it’s time to kiss on-premise goodbye and make the move to the cloud.

Cost

On-premise solutions are renowned for coming with huge overhead costs for maintenance and expansion. But high costs aren’t necessarily the case anymore. Cloud providers like Google and Amazon now offer cloud storage solutions that cost as little as $ 0.7 cents per GB and allow businesses to make a virtual clean break from maintenance expenses by handling upkeep in-house.

Through the cloud, you can scale resources and projects as needed without having to retrofit an existing network. This offers immense cost savings since building on-premise solutions is time-intensive and often requires additional hardware at an extra cost.

Moreover, if you go through extended periods where data demands are lower and need to scale down, the cloud allows you to pay only for the resources that you need. With on-premise infrastructure, when you scale down o, you’re still on the hook financially for your physical hardware, even if it’s sitting there unused and collecting dust.

Agility and Speed

Another advantage to the cloud is its agility. The cloud is far less rigid than on-premise in enabling collaboration between employees and entire sections of a business, meaning greater transparency and more business continuity.

Regardless of the industry, agility and on-demand access to necessary data is pivotal to business success. And data must be available whether employees are in the office or working remotely. This is especially important since, according to the Harvard Business Review, two-thirds of organizations are already trying to blend together five to 15 sources of data for analysis.

Proponents of on-premise infrastructure cite speed as an area where on-premise solutions have a leg up on the cloud, pointing out that it takes longer to deliver data to clients from the cloud. Granted, if you’re in an industry where success relies on having data a millisecond faster than a competitor, accessing data locally through on-premise infrastructure may be a better option. Yet these concerns tend to be overblown since most of today’s businesses aren’t in such verticals.

On the other hand, if the business needs to serve many locations around the world and provide fast turnaround, the cloud can meet these needs – it quickly and easily serves multiple geographic locations with replication capabilities between them.

Easier Integration with Modern Tools

Today’s businesses rely on a variety of specialized tools that help business flow better. And if not properly handled, they can negatively affect a company’s overall performance. For example, poor data integration accounts for $342 billion in lost benefits every year in the healthcare industry alone.

Each of these tools – from CRM to data integration software – collect insights and are often designed to plug-in and work with other systems to create a fuller picture of business operations that the cloud can enable. This means that operating modern cloud-based tools with on-premise infrastructures can sometimes be like “fitting a square peg in a round hole.” It can also add a bunch of headaches, where integrating these tools with a cloud infrastructure is a more “plug and play” situation.

Reliability

Concerns surrounding the reliability of clouds have been one of the sticking points in cloud-solution adoption thus far. In fact, 57 percent of industry leaders cite reliability and availability of network bandwidth as barriers to cloud service adoption, according to IDC.
But these fears are often misplaced. Cloud solutions are always available, giving them an advantage when it comes to reliability.

For example, Amazon promises a minimum uptime of 99.95% availability for its EC2 DWH service, and Google a monthly uptime percentage of 99.9% for Cloud Storage and BigQuery. Both Google and Amazon, as well as other cloud DWH providers, replicate data across multiple clusters to ensure maximum reliability.

Security

Even as the cloud has evolved and become more widely accepted, there are some challenges giving companies pause. The most common raised is security.

According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, which surveyed 3,400 IT and IT security practitioners worldwide, 54% of respondents “did not agree their companies have a proactive approach to managing security and data protection in cloud environments,” in spite of the fact 65% of survey respondents said that their organizations have made a concerted effort towards tackling cloud security. The disconnect here is largely technological as conventional security practices do not automatically apply to the cloud. Security departments are grappling with the shift as they can.

Security is improving, however, even providing inherent benefits over on-premise solutions. For example, given that the cloud is in perpetual development, providers like Google and AWS are constantly refining and updating security capabilities, and they are often better equipped to cope with security concerns than internal IT staffs. And a recent Gartner report even found that “most breaches,” in fact, “involve on-premises data center environments” – meaning, that the cloud is not necessarily more vulnerable to attacks and that the “fall out” from any potential breaches could be better dealt with or mitigated than if they had happened on-premise.

Summary

There are endless reasons to move to the cloud. And while the cloud might not be best for every business, when an opportunity comes that can help achieve greater external and internal success, isn’t it worth at least looking into?

yaniv_mor_newContributed by: Yaniv Mor is CEO and Co-Founder of Xplenty, a leading data integration platform that allows organizations to make raw data “analytics-ready” for analytics on the cloud.

 

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Comments

  1. I love using the cloud. I am able to access my information from whatever I am. Great information, thanks for sharing!

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