The growth of cloud computing has seen a number of businesses question whether on-premise solutions are still a viable approach to take. According to Software Advice, 88 per cent of software buyers preferred on-premise solutions in 2008, while in 2014, 87 per cent preferred cloud services.
This radical shift has seen many industry experts proclaim the death of on-premise solutions, but is this premature?
On-premise services and applications certainly still have their place, in certain situations, but there are a multitude of factors that have led to their decline.
One of the main reasons that businesses are moving away from on-premise is the growing acceptance of cloud computing. IT leaders are now increasingly comfortable with not having their data stored locally, opening up the possibility of more mobile solutions. Similarly, the growth in the number of connected devices has also facilitated the decline of on-premise technology. Traditional hardware and software solutions are typically localised to one device, but today’s workforce needs increased flexibility. Given that cloud solutions can provide a seamless transition between mobiles, tablets and PCs, it is easy to see why some organisations are moving away from on-premise services.
However, businesses still using on-premise solutions should not allow themselves to get caught up in cloud fever and should still carefully assess whether an overhaul of their infrastructure is right for them.
In particular, organisations should weigh-up the long-term impact of switching to third-party cloud suppliers, especially when it comes to cost. While cloud platforms are often initially cheaper than traditional software packages, businesses should evaluate how subscription charges will accumulate over a period of more than five years and decide whether it still represents good value versus a one-off cost.
If companies do decide to go with a cloud provider, they must also understand that they are trusting another organisation with their assets. If businesses can’t find a software solution that they can trust, IT decision makers should opt with on-premise software instead.
Despite these concerns, there are still a whole host of advantages that might convince a business to utilise an off-premise approach to their infrastructure.
As mentioned above, the cost of cloud services is often vastly cheaper than traditional solutions. This is particularly important for SMEs, who may not be able to afford large initial costs, but who need fast and reliable software solutions. The low price of cloud-based software is perhaps becoming more and more prominent as rival companies such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure compete for business and drive down costs.
The speed with which cloud-based apps and upgrades to existing services can be deployed is also another major plus point. Unlike traditional products, cloud-suppliers remain involved with your business continuously, offering support and maintenance from day one.
While this means businesses must foster an effective working relationship with their supplier, once they do it can make off-premise solutions highly flexible and productive.
Read more: UK businesses are still scared of the cloud
Industry experts, thought leaders and peers will discuss the relative benefits of on-premise and off-premise solutions during this year’s UC Expo, taking place on the 21-22 April at Olympia, London.