At GSI, we often find the right solution is a hybrid combination of resources, such as considerations of Cloud products. We have favoured the quality and value of Office 365 in many installations, and there may be many good reasons to go with third-party cloud services — >> which we can help you with! However, your industry’s needs may require you to look at on-premise technology…
12 Reasons to favour the “Private Cloud” side of the spectrum (by GSI Technical Services)
#1 … Privacy/confidentiality… these concepts can hardly be vouched for unless you have some control over who has your data. With “private cloud”, you know who has your data (you), and who has access (an IT team that you have met in person), and because of these principles, you know what is being done with your data. Most business feel better when they know their IT support, personally, and can vouch who gets access.
#2 … Compliance… many businesses must be accountable to their industry about how their data is cared for, and when you use Third Party cloud service, you may not even know where your data is, and how they care for it; you may not be in legal compliance with your industry, nor be able to make promises about it.
#3 … Response… Third-party cloud is known for challenges with getting help. It is likely you don’t pay as much for response, if a service goes down, but a small-business full-service IT team tends to know the full challenges faced by your company, can give you some scheduling/planning details about response, often more quickly, and even face-to-face (when needed/convenient.)
#4 … Control… with “private cloud”, changes to your infrastructure or data can be taken care of the way you want or when convenient for YOU. If it’s local, you can talk to your Calgary IT support team about your desires for how updates/changes are conducted (even face to face). When it’s not your server, you really don’t have much of a say.
#5 … Hardware Flexibility… A good example, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device… i.e., smartphones/tablets) is a big concept for businesses, today… if your company values being able to have users bring their phones, consider that not all phones work with all systems, but they will with on-premises (private cloud), as your IT team plans/configures, as you request.
#6 … Security /choice of anti-spam/anti-malware… security concerns or spam concerns can be responded to with the specific needs of your domain; if one security solution doesn’t work out for you (with your specific mail needs, for example), you can try another.
#7 … Data backup options… you can have your backup needs flexible to how often you want backups, what you want backed up, etc.. Your backup needs may change. With Third Party services, they are what they are.
#8 … Data backup security… although requests to carry out tasks have a cost tied to them, asking your IT management team to test a backup restore, or talk to you about the backup logs, is a way to have confidence in your data. Even in our company, when using Third Party hosting solutions, we have experienced a service-down situation, where our data was unavailable. And when the service returned, the data was gone for good. The company had agreed to do backups, but all they could provide was an apology when they found that our data was gone for good. An IT management team can set up monitoring, which a person will see, each day, and a copy can even be delivered to one of the staff/owners of your company.
#9 … Speed… “on-premises Exchange servers” (which are often used for “private cloud” mail), in general, perform much faster than hosted solutions (likely have more hardware and network speed dedicated per email); with on-premises, speed issues can be looked into; with hosted, there is rarely anything you can do.
#10 … Features/Complexity… when you use “Third Party cloud” services, the services tend to be what they are. Your needs may change. You may wish to add features they don’t have. When you use “on premises” servers (that you own), changes can be made by your IT management team. You may opt for a “Third Party cloud/hosting” solution, over an “on premises” server, for one service, but if you need another, you likely have to go to another hosting company, and complexity increases.
#11 … Service backup scalability… “Private cloud” can be scaled to be as fault tolerant as you want or can afford. Service backup (redundancy) can be added as desired, as other sites, or within the server in question. “How available” you want your “on premises” server to be can be addressed by your IT management team, even when first setting it up. Or you can add to your infrastructure, down the road. “On premises” with “private cloud” accessibility can be as available as hosting solutions.
#12 … Software/data flexibility Run the types of files and applications that you want. Not everything runs well in the cloud, and different situations might need to be addressed by an IT management team. With a “private cloud/on premises” server, the company needs can be addressed, with the IT team and modifications made to the infrastructure you own.