Unless you live with your head in the sand, you will be aware that the Cloud is where everything seems to be happening. However there has been an ongoing debate whether a private or a public cloud hosting arrangement is the ideal setup, particularly when it comes to small to medium sized businesses.
There is no doubt that the cloud computing trend is growing.
It is said that in 2016 that there are still approximately 53% of companies that do not use Cloud services, but that number is expected to decrease by at least 9% by 2020.
So, as more and more companies join the stampede and try to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Cloud. We take a look at the best avenue for a small business to take. Is a public cloud arrangement going to be sufficient for your business needs, or should you be looking at the private cloud route?
What is Cloud Computing?
In summary, cloud computing refers to the outsourcing of computing ability to a third party, whilst allowing a delivery of services available through the internet. It appeals to business for numerous reasons, reduced costs, accessibility and scalability. TCloud scomputng often includes software as a service (SaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
So what is the public Cloud and and what is the private cloud?
Ther are 2 main groupings within the Cloud umbrella: public and private clouds. While both are similar in concept, there are some vital differences to do with privacy that needs to be understood.
Public clouds will allow your business to purchase computational ability from a service provider, normally on a usage basis model. Public clouds are called 'public' due to the fact that companies lease server space on machines that are shared with clients.
Private clouds however, give your business exclusive use of servers in a completely segregated environment i.e. resulting in disc space not being shared with anyone else.
Both of these systems have their own strengths and weaknesses, so prior to opting for a particular one, it is worth while knowing what what the benefits of each is.
Public Cloud - The positives
COST - The main reason companies use public cloud services is the affordability. Businesses that use public cloud, can save on average of 14% of their IT budgets as opposed to a private cloud. This is done via virtual elimination of the capital costs associated with purchasing server equipment, as cloud services can be provided virtually over the internet.
Then there is the reduction of resource costs. IT staffing levels can be reduced by having services outsourced. Your business would still have operational costs, but this will obviously be cheaper than the costs associated with maintaining a dedicated infrastructure.
SCALABILITY - Another major plus for public cloud usage lies in its scalability. Any spikes in data access requests can be quickly moved toward additional servers when as and when necessary. In other words, there is no need for your business to have an huge infastructure that could end up being underused.
ACCESSABILITY - With an IaaS/SaaS setup, companies can take advantage of virtualisation software which allows access to the business network from anywhere. This improves collaboration and accessibility for all users.
Private Cloud - The positives
A SECURE INFASTUCTURE - Private cloud is rising among enterprise-level companies, with rates rising to 77% in 2016 from 63% in 2015. After all the major incidents involving hacking and malware, the additional security offered by a private cloud will only enhance this usage.
Still, a private cloud is only as secure as the servers themselves. If you are a business that is considering hostng servers on your own premises, you need to ensure that you have the correct physical security. However, outsourced, off-premise hosting by specialists will offer the the additional security as their infrastucture will be....
COMPLIANT - Any company that offers private cloud services needs to adhere to strict compliance requirements such as HIPAA and PCI-DSS to ensure they conform to the required regulations.
RELIABILITY - Due to the fact that administrators have direct control over server operations, reliability is found to be bettter with private cloud service
So which option is best for your business?
At the end of the day, it boils down to your businesses individual needs. Do you hold data that is reuqired to abide with strict compliance guidelines and security? If that is the case, a private cloud is teh best option for you.
If you are not restricted by these guidlines, it is likely that your business would benefit from a public cloud setup.
The lack of capital investment in equipment alone represents huge cost savings, and the inherent scalability in public cloud computing means that underused servers are never sitting idle.
With IaaS and SaaS options available in a public environment, businesses can spend less effort and capital on their IT systems and and concentrate on running their business.
Systems Integration is a leading provider of IT supprt services for business across Swindon, Wiltshire and the South West, and have been helping local business with their IT systems and infastructure for 20+ years. If your are interested in introducing your company to the cloud, get in touch with us and let us give the advice you need.