When Cloud Solutions Group works with a business or organisation, and the decision to connect to the Cloud is made, one of the first discussions we have is choosing either a private or public cloud, or combination of both. As always the choice is usually determined by a number of factors, with your needs at the centre.
So we thought it would be a good idea to look at the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches, to make sure you choose what is right for you.
A public cloud offers IT services through a third party, accessed via the internet.
Low upfront costs – Connecting to the cloud through a third party is relatively fast and easy
Scalability – If you need to expand your IT function quickly, this can be done very fast, with a public cloud.
Access – For smaller or medium size business the Cloud offers access to applications and computing power they wouldn’t normally be able to afford, if ran privately.
Locked in costs – With a public cloud, depending on your agreement, you are usually charged per gigabyte and for bandwidth usage, some costs may be fixed depending on your contract.
Security – While many of the biggest and most trustworthy providers work in the public arena there are still some concerns in the market about where data is stored and the lack of control working with an outside provider entails.
Risk management – Being able to manage a lack of service/outage can cause concern when you are reliant on another party.
In a private cloud-based service, data and processes are managed within the business, or hosted at a data centre, are not provided by a third party or accessible via the internet.
More secure – A private cloud sits behind a firewall so you control your data’s exposure.
Better Risk – Owning & managing infrastructure and architecture means you can implement additional support as you see fit.
Custom fit – A private cloud is more often specifically tailored to meet your business needs.
Less flexibility – It isn’t as to easy to expand your IT function as it requires purchasing additional hardware and software architecture.
Costs – The human resources and infrastructure required for a private cloud make it a expensive option for smaller businesses.
So what are the answers? In broad terms it seems that for smaller businesses the public option is best, as the scalability, cost and access are a distinct advantage. Larger businesses may find the investment in a private cloud has many benefits, particularly the ability to adopt their own model for delivery of IT services to various business units.
For many businesses choosing both can be a strong solution. A hybrid cloud offers a combination of both environments. Organisations can move less sensitive data into a public cloud, and utilise advantages in speed and flexibility while being less concerned risk and security. Many businesses find this a satisfying option as they can strengthen their IT function using the Cloud, and are able to move more of their core business to the cloud as services mature.
As Cloud Solutions Group is not aligned with a specific vendor, we are a good option to discuss options with you. This means that whether you choose private, public, hybrid or not at all, we don’t have an agenda and are working from your needs, as a start. Have you any thoughts on how a private or public cloud might empower your business? We’d love to hear from you.
By Josh Rubens