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Are you curious about the meaning of on premise, and the differences with cloud? In this article, we will take a closer look at similarities, differences and, of course, the advantages of on premise versus cloud and vice versa! That way, you will know which of these two data setup solutions is the best choice for your business.

What is on premise?

On premise literally means it’s on your premises, which in the context of software refers to installing and hosting software on an organisation’s own servers, rather than using cloud services. The software is installed and managed locally within the organisation’s infrastructure.

What is cloud?

The cloud refers to the use of shared computing resources, such as storage, computing power and software, available over the internet. Instead of the company buying and managing hardware and software themselves, the cloud allows them to use these resources from any location, at any time and on any device with an internet connection.

Internal data centre (on premise) versus public data centre (cloud)

The difference between on premise and cloud mainly has to do with where the software or infrastructure is hosted and managed.

So with an on premise solution, you use your own data centre that provides the infrastructure and service within the organisation. This is set up once to perfection by a specialist. Determining the right structure and solutions is a hefty one-off job, but once it is done, everything is arranged exactly to fit the organisation perfectly.

The cloud uses large data centres that provide infrastructure and services to users around the world. These data centres host and manage servers, storage devices, networking equipment and other hardware needed to provide cloud services. Users can then access these services through an internet browser, applications or other interfaces.

Data center

On premise vs cloud: differences

We told you about the meaning of on premise and cloud and the main difference between the two. But if you have to make the choice yourself for your organisation, it can still be quite difficult. We would therefore like to go into a little more detail on cloud vs on premise, so that you can make an informed choice on what best suits your organisation. In doing so, we scrutinise several factors.

1. Customisation based on needs

With on premise, the organisation decides in detail which hardware and software, installations and maintenance are desirable. This makes on premise a better option than cloud in terms of options for customisation without a doubt. After all, with cloud, an organisation is stuck with the options of the service in question.

Incidentally, such a cloud service also often offers sufficient fundamentals, including in the areas of application development, AI, cloud migration, infrastructure and data analytics. A good example is Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform and service that provides an excellent foundation for many enterprises. Nevertheless, some companies still prefer 100% customisation with on premise.

Best choice customisation: on premise

2. Scalability (relative to cost)

Zooming in on scalability, cloud is normally seen as the better choice (especially in relation to cost). Here, it is extremely easy to add a new user, and the permissions for this user can also be easily set. Even when an employee drops out, it can be easily removed. That’s because on premise charges per user. In companies where staff changes are frequent, cloud may be preferable for this reason.

Best choice scalability: cloud

3. Accessibility of systems

Working in the cloud can be done from any location. It is possible to log into any system, from a computer to laptop, tablet and smartphone. This makes it easily accessible, which has particular advantages when working from various locations. For example, companies where employees frequently change location (e.g. company travel or multiple offices) often prefer the cloud.

Best choice accessibility: cloud

4. Level of security

The extent to which security can be tailored to the needs of the organisation is eminently better with on premise. As you might expect, this involves keeping everything in-house and thus not relying on cloud services (which, by the way, does not mean that cloud is insecure!). With on premise, for example, you can also decide which part of the data you house where, and you can give the most privacy-sensitive information extra protection.

Best choice security: on premise

5. Costs: set-up and maintenance

Looking at the cost of on premise versus cloud, the cloud is often labelled as more advantageous. And this is not surprising, because with on premise, the organisation is responsible for hardware investment and maintenance. With cloud, the service provider takes on this part. With so many users, those costs can then be kept low. Cloud thus eliminates the need for extensive hardware investment, updates and maintenance.

Nevertheless, we would like to make a note of this, as cloud is not in all cases more advantageous than on premise. Often yes, but it just depends on the complexity and requirements of the organisation. To find out which is the most advantageous option for your organisation, it is best to find out be advised. More on that in a moment.

Best choice low cost: mostly cloud, but not always

Cloud data

Choosing on premise or cloud?

Choosing between on premise and cloud depends on an organisation’s specific needs and requirements. Factors such as budget, security requirements, scalability and flexibility all play a role in making this decision. Moreover, above we gave an indication of the best choice by factor/need, but the best solution is not always in specifically cloud or on premise. A combination of the above options is also possible!

Hybrid solution: on premise and cloud

A hybrid solution is a combination of both solutions, where an organisation decides in detail which part will be housed where. In doing so, you benefit from maximally tuned security. Yet here the ‘cost’ advantage often falls away, as in many cases it is more time-consuming and pricey to pursue the combination of the two.

On premise or cloud: get personalised advice!

All in all, as you read, there are numerous factors that influence the decision for cloud or on premise. And that choice is certainly not always easy. We therefore advise you to hire a migration specialist. At Cloud360, we can personally advise you on which solution will work best for you based on your requirements. We can also handle migrations for you. A data migration scan is 100% free with us.

Cloud360 is happy to advise you and, based on your personal needs, consider whether on premise, cloud or a combination of the two is a better fit for the organisation.