The cloud is getting more and more attention nowadays and there are still various heated debates about whether cloud solutions are really better than on-premise ones. We recognise that both solutions have their pros and cons and always agree that the choice between an on-premise or on-cloud infrastructure depends on the business requirements, so we cannot say that a cloud approach is ideal for all businesses. We however compiled a series of reasons below that explains some of the benefits of cloud servers which are often overlooked or misunderstood.
1. HIDDEN COSTS
It is quite straightforward to see the difference between the direct costs of having a physical server (this includes the actual server, operating systems, software, maintenance and backup hardware and software) against the subscription costs of hosting it on the cloud. What most people tend to forget are the hidden (indirect) costs associated with running an on-premise server. The main indirect cost remains your electricity which not only accounts for the server running but also to cool down (air-conditioning) the server as it produces a lot of heat and stays active 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2. HARDWARE MAINTENANCE
Something that most companies have forgotten nowadays is the fact that the life cycle of an on-premise server is 5 years. This, of course, depends on your business industry, but 5 years is reasonable for a piece of equipment running at all times. There is nothing wrong with using your "old" server for over 5 years, but this will then increase the risk of hardware failure and eventually will cost in repairs. The predictable cost of cloud technology takes this concern away as you don't have to worry about any replacements or any hardware-related issues.
3. EASY TO SETUP AND UPGRADE
Cloud systems are easy to setup, most of the cloud servers can be activated in a matter of minutes as it does not require any physical installation (which needs to be delivered, connected and have operating system and software installed). Cloud servers are also straightforward to scale up or down based on your requirements or usage. You can easily choose the specification of your cloud server during purchase and as easy to upgrade or downgrade after it is running. The flexibility offered by cloud systems makes it very desirable for businesses that are unsure of the server specs they require or by businesses who know they will be growing in a near future.
Downtime is a big factor when deciding between on-premise or cloud, many users have the misconception that the downtime from a cloud system has a larger impact when in fact, most cloud servers guarantees a 99.99% uptime with a strong SLA to protect you in case they fail to maintain their promise. On-premise servers have an average uptime of 99.65% which might not seem like much but it takes a very long time to recover from on-premise hardware failures (this includes natural disasters, fires, floods or virus attacks). On the other hand, cloud servers have robust disaster recovery and failover mechanism and generally offer secure backups and mirroring services to keep your data safer than ever. The real question to be asked when tackling this is how much money is your company losing for each hour of downtime?
5. DATA SECURITY
The security of your data is one of the crucial factors when choosing between on-premise or on cloud solutions. Many companies have the feeling that their data, located remotely is less secure in the hands of server farms. But the reality is that the security in this case relies on the vendor and as a company that provides hosting facilities, they research and implement a secure environment for their data centre. This ensures the protection of both the physical location of the data centre as well as proxy servers, certificates and various detection and anti-spoofing algorithms which are most of the time not available on an on-premise installation. Your data is much safer than you think on the cloud as it is protected by companies whose main job is to keep your data secure.
A major benefit of using cloud software is its accessibility, cloud software can be accessed from anywhere in the world and is not restricted to the intranet of your office or your VPN. This means that it is easier to work remotely - on the road or at home for example. Cloud software such as Google Docs or Dropbox promotes team collaboration, allowing multiple employees to work on the same document or share files easily and without disrupting other users.
7. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Using the cloud provides you with a competitive advantage: given you have minimal physical hardware, you worry less about the technological advances. How many times have you asked yourself whether your server is fast or good enough or whether it is now obsolete because there are now better ones in stores? Cloud systems are easily upgradable and most server farms have state-of-the-art equipment which are ideal if you want to stay up-to-date with the latest specs.
WMSSoft have cloud experts to guide you through your cloud journey, we have great experience in cloud hosting and implementing cloud software for organisations who are after the benefits of a cloud infrastructure. Contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about our cloud solutions.