What Kind of Cloud Environment is Best for Your Business?
The race to the Cloud accelerated with COVID. Businesses without any Cloud infrastructure or with weak Cloud infrastructure were suddenly made to move remote, and those with Cloud services in place were put to the test in terms of accessibility, availability, and security. Those with no remote access available to their users opted for public Cloud services like Microsoft Azure and 365 to get workers up and running as quickly as possible. Now, two years later, organisations that still haven’t made the move to private or hybrid Cloud environments are beginning to feel the repercussions in the areas of cybersecurity, governance control, and overall ease of managing their day-to-day workflows.
So what are the different Cloud types, and how do you choose what is best for your organisation? The answer is almost always private Cloud for businesses, as a key to remaining competitive is maintaining a self-reliant, secure network infrastructure. However, there are exceptions; let’s take a deeper look at the differences between public, private, and hybrid Clouds:
Public Cloud is the ‘out of the box’, Cloud-based solution for building and deploying various workloads. Administrators have controls over the various offering but not what is under the hood. In the public cloud, resources are shared across multiple organisations. The #1 benefit of working on a public Cloud server is the flexibility and scalability of working with a pre-packaged platform; taking on a new client or onboarding a round of new employees in a public Cloud is a breeze without the red tape of more sophisticated network infrastructures. The #1 concern with choosing to utilise public Cloud services is unpredictable cost; costs can go through the roof due to a pay-to-play pricing model where costs are incurred by the amount of data stored and shared rather than a single, flat usage fee.
Private Cloud is quite the opposite of public Cloud in nearly every way. Perhaps the leading benefit of working on a private Cloud server is full control; admins have control over virtually every aspect of the Cloud environment – where data is stored, who can access it from what locations, multi-factor authentication (MFA) enforcement, more traditional file structuring, application hosting, and so much more. Purchasing space on a private Cloud server, or building your own, means that you can do nearly whatever you please with it, and for one flat fee! Different from public Cloud, also, is the ability to host business applications on a private Cloud server – so your favourite CRM or modelling software no longer has to run locally on each employee’s device, freeing up memory and enabling more efficient multi-tasking. The downfall to working from a private Cloud server is the level of expertise needed to set it up and monitor it properly; private Cloud services, like Thrive Cloud, are backed by a team of experts managing backups, monitoring for threats, overseeing user access, and more.
Hybrid Cloud is when an organisation chooses to utilize the services of both public and private Cloud services. These scenarios might look something like storing and sharing documents on a public Cloud while running applications and hosting confidential materials on a separate private Cloud server. These environments can be beneficial because they allow for quick scalability using public Cloud while also utilising the dedicated, safe Cloud computing services offered by private Cloud. On the downside, hybrid Cloud environments still leave organisations open to data loss caused by malicious attacks on any data not stored, monitored, and backed up in the private Cloud environment.
What’s Best for Your Business?
The answer to this question is often private Cloud, but it depends on a business’ openness to the risks often found on public Cloud environments. Cybersecurity is the number one component to consider when thinking about implementing a public Cloud solution into your business’ network architecture. How would your business recover if the files you work with in the Cloud were suddenly deleted or released to the public? Without the option for remote backups or the ability to control file access via MFA, storing files in the public Cloud is always a gamble.
Perhaps the biggest tradeoff between public and private Cloud, however, is cost. With a per-transaction or per-kilobyte fee, public Cloud can quickly grow to an astronomical cost compared to private Cloud environments which are often billed as a predictable, monthly fee. In times where quick scalability is needed, hybrid environments can be beneficial if you’re willing to pay the fee for that flexibility. At the end of the scaling period, however, migrating those users into the private Cloud environment might be the best cybersecurity-focused and financially-conscious move.
While there is no one right answer for every scenario, Thrive can assist in determining the best route to take for your business
So when exactly do private Cloud environments make financial sense for quickly growing companies that demand remote flexibility and optimised collaboration capabilities? Stay tuned for another blog where we’ll dive into tips and tricks for managing Cloud costs!
Want more info about getting your company up to speed in a Cloud-based world? Contact Thrive today.