Chances are if you are breathing and walking around this earth that you are hearing the terms “cloud” and “on-premises” whirl by your ears so frequently that you may start to believe that your head has actually been in the clouds for way too long and you have missed some crucial information. Thus, this article will outline the differences between cloud and on-premises versions of the robust toolset coined Office 365.
First, it is important to define what Office 365 is. This solution encompasses Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and OneNote into one platform, virtually every crucial tool that an organization heavily relies upon for ongoing success. Some of the capabilities powered by Office 365 are the ability to view and edit documents alongside other workers from anywhere in the world, selecting communication channels of choice whether it be audio, video or IM, focusing on business-related tasks while resting assured this robust program will work as promised, and the fact that it can be specifically tailored to the individual needs of small businesses, in addition to midsize businesses and enterprises alike.
Cloud-based offerings refer to a cost-effective alternative to traditional on-premises IT solutions that are continuing to increase in popularity as they can be accessed at any time and from anywhere with a reliable Internet connection. When utilizing Office 365 in the cloud, companies in all industries can significantly cut costs as additional hardware that once was required can now be eliminated as well as software and IT administration expenses.
However, Ben Chai, writing for ITProPortal highlighted multiple obstacles that can arise when turning to the cloud including:
- Concerns regarding third-parties handling confidential data
- Concerns regarding the loss of control over all business systems
- Concerns regarding the loss of control of confidential data handling processes
- Concerns regarding customization and integration with existing systems
- Concerns regarding subscription service costs rising as the business grows
- Concerns regarding location of data for legal, financial and compliance regulations
- Concerns regarding business continuity should a cloud data centre have a disaster
These challenges can sometimes churn an enterprise’s stomach so much so that it then becomes afraid to leverage the cloud and instead implements an on-premises edition of Office 365. The definition of on-premises in essence means that all the servers needed for SharePoint to run within the company are kept at the actual facility.
Some of the benefits of using an on-premises product are that the hardware belong to you, it is easier to integrate into external systems, changes can be made to the infrastructure as soon as you make a decision and you know where all of your vital data is housed. Yet, some of the disadvantages include because the hardware is yours if anything goes wrong it is then your IT teams responsibility to fix it right away, and it is extremely expensive to get this system up and running due to the elements that your firm must initially purchase such as hardware and licenses.
Ultimately, the decision whether to use the cloud or on-premises should be made based upon your company’s individual needs. But, it’s still important to be aware of all the options on the table.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey