Behind the Cloud, the sun always shines?
The saying “Behind the clouds, the sun always shines” seems to define the current trend to host everything in the cloud; where the sun will always shine and we will find the perfect solutions to our problems, and all at a very low cost. But should everything necessarily live in the cloud? Is the cloud the solution to all the problems of organizations?
Today we give the name On Premise to the computer infrastructure that is maintained within an organization. Data, servers and IT people are part of the organization, so the company is responsible for operating, supporting and maintaining the systems.
Cloud refers to the practice of storing and accessing data and applications on remote servers that are located in remote data centers, which can be practically anywhere in the world. There are several types of cloud: public clouds are services provided by providers, where multiple clients share resources. Private clouds are resources that are dedicated to a single client or a group of users in an organization. Some organizations have opted for hybrid schemes, where the tendency has been to use public clouds to store information for the customer, while keeping the legacy or production systems in private clouds.
We often hear stories of companies that have managed to move to solutions in the cloud in a very short time, with great savings and better features than they had in their old systems. While this is true, it has to be recognised that cost reduction doesn’t usually occur as soon as businesses switch to the cloud. According to Khalda De Souza, Director of Research, SaaS Services and Cybersecurity Services at HFS Research, the reason for this is threefold:
Functionality. “First of all, buyers are investing in functionality they do not need. Most software vendors incorporate as many modules as they can manage in a sale, regardless of the specific functionalities that the buyer really wants and needs to use immediately,” says De Souza. And it’s good to be prepared with functionality in case you need it in the future, the question is: do you really want to pay today for something you do not use?
Cloud Policies. Often, customers must conform to provider policies in the cloud, which means higher costs for the organization to adjust to the provider. In this sense, the operating policies of a cloud service, and in particular security policies, must be aligned with the results that the company expects, and its regulatory and privacy needs. That is why, when it comes to sensitive or confidential information, keeping the information at home continues to make sense in terms of cost-benefit, when we take into account risk and compliance.
Implementation. While cloud implementations are traditionally faster than on-premise deployments, De Souza warns us: “Implementation is not the end, but rather the beginning of the journey for cloud solutions. Since they have continuous updates, new functionalities and even new modules several times a year, the support of cloud services becomes a continuous cycle of consulting and implementation. This, of course, costs money and effort, which must be taken into account. And do not forget one of the biggest drawbacks of cloud solutions: the possibility of having less control over your data”. The On Premise solutions, on the other hand, have more controllable cycles of updates, and the data is fully controlled by the organization.
In conclusion, there is a need to be equally rigorous when evaluating and choosing between a solution on premise or in the cloud. This includes, according to De Souza, making an in-depth analysis of the implementation costs and their consequences, the continuous administration of the application in the cloud and its continuous changes, and the ability to read between the lines of the great marketing presented by the provider (who does a great job of selling the products!). When choosing a solution, no technology can replace the best business practices.
Author: Conciliac Team
Khalda De Souza, “The SaaS Buyers’ Guides: The Business Case for SaaS is no different from On-Premise,” April 2017, www.horsesforsources.com (HFS Research blog)
Vishal Padghan, “On-premise vs. Cloud Computing”, March 2019, Edureka!