Making sure that your sensitive data is backed up and stored safely should be an integral part of business planning if you want to avoid potential disaster. The question you might have is whether it is better to look at a cloud storage option or rely on an on-premises option.
There are several aspects of data management that you need to get right such as covering all the bases with storage and backup options. But which option is better when it comes to storing your precious and sensitive data? How do you keep it safe and secure?
As you might expect, there are pros and cons to either storage option. Here is a look at some key points that can help you to decide how best to store and protect your data.
No perfect solution
You might have security concerns about the cloud and prefer to invest your time and money into creating a robust on-premises solution. However, that option will eat up a lot more of your budget as compared to using cloud-based services and infrastructure.
The bottom line is that there are definite pros and cons attached to either option. This means you have to make an informed decision as to which option is right for your specific business needs.
A good way of approaching the decision-making process would be to focus your attention on the fundamental differences between cloud and on-site data storage.
It is always worth remembering that adequate storage and functional software are essential to running your business smoothly and efficiently. These are the key elements that you need to focus on when deciding which way to go.
What cloud storage offers
When it comes to using a cloud storage solution, one of its biggest advantages is the fact that it is very cost-effective when compared to the expense involved in creating and maintaining an on-premises solution.
Cloud storage involves the use of external servers that are managed and maintained by the provider. It should go without saying that your server has to be considered the beating heart of your business and it plays a pivotal role in connecting all of your employees and allowing you to run your business efficiently.
Cloud storage is not only a more cost-effective option because you are paying a price for using a facility without the initial capital required if you were setting up the same facility locally instead.
It allows you to carry out regular backups with ease and using a cloud storage option also means that you can scale up easily when you expand and need to increase capacity.
Another key consideration is the fact that your IT staff and managed IT services that you use can focus their attention on other important tasks while the cloud provider is taking care of all the software patches and updates that might otherwise eat up a lot of your time.
Cloud-based storage is a scalable option that delivers all of your data storage needs at a cost that is almost certainly going to compare favorably against the capital outlay and ongoing maintenance and equipment costs you will face with an on-premises solution.
What are the downsides?
There are some negatives to think about with regard to choosing a cloud storage option.
You need to ensure that you have a really fast and reliable internet connection at all times. Without this, you will find that gaining access to your files could become a slower and more tedious experience compared to accessing on-site files.
If your internet connection goes down for any reason, you will lose access to your data until a connection is established again. Server access is normally very reliable these days, but it is something to think about as any outage could be counter-productive and costly.
Finally, you also need to consider security. You are trusting sensitive business data to a cloud storage company; so you need to be sure that their encryption options are good enough.
What an on-premises solution offers
When you have all of your data stored within your business premises, you are taking full responsibility for the management and security of that information.
One of the most obvious advantages attached to the option of an on-site solution is the fact that you will not have to rely on an internet connection to be able to access your files.
Apart from having 24-hour uninterrupted access to your files locally, it also might be a more secure option if you hire the right experts to set up the system properly.
Achieving all of this is heavily reliant on being able to maintain your system, and putting the time and money into making sure that all of the software you are using is working properly while being protected from security threats and vulnerabilities.
One of the main reasons why a business might decide to keep their data storage in-house and on-site would be the security perspective. Your business will have ultimate control over server hardware and security options and/or protocols rather than rely on a cloud storage provider to offer this protection.
What are the downsides of an on-premises solution?
The most obvious negative is the extra IT support and costs that maintaining an in-house system would involve. Also, you will almost certainly have to face higher maintenance and equipment costs when compared to how much a cloud storage option would cost.
Another major consideration is the question of what your business will do if it loses valuable data.
An on-premises option does potentially increase the risk of data loss. A system malfunction or security breach could even cause you to suffer permanent loss of key data.
Finding a compromise
As you can see, there are pros and cons attached to either option. That is why a lot of business owners decide to find a solution that gives them the best of both worlds.
If you want to go for the on-premises option, for instance, it would make a lot of sense to also use a cloud backup option so that you have a plan B if needed.