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An On Premise vs. Cloud Security Checklist

January 21, 2017

The Internet is a whirlwind of mixed messages when it comes to secure enterprise data storage. Whether it’s industry trade websites or consumer-facing tech publications, everyone is covering the trends, but everyone has a different take (or, let’s be honest, a different agenda). It’s a lot of information to wade through, and the deeper you get, the more likely you are to find yourself back where you started. For every website that tells you that a public cloud is guaranteed to be the securest form of data storage in history in the hands of the right vendors, there’s one that tells you that building out an on-premises infrastructure is the only safe bet.

The truth is, regardless of the trends and buzzwords, different kinds of secure storage fulfill different needs. What doesn’t work for one business might be a money-saving—or revenue-generating—deployment for another. So how do you help a client make the right choice when considering on premise vs. cloud security solutions? The following checklist will give you some ideas.

The Cloud Is Right for My Client If…

Check the following scenarios in order to determine if the cloud is the best data storage strategy for your client:

A client doesn’t have the resources for in-house infrastructure. Internally deployed server infrastructure isn’t cheap, and it requires knowledgeable in-house IT staff to manage in order to assure that it’s secure and even in order to assure constant uptime and availability. If your client doesn’t have the financial resources—or the human resources—to effectively implement and manage on-premises server infrastructure, then cloud is the answer.

A client is just getting started. Some older, longstanding enterprises may have existing on-premises infrastructure that they can leverage or will want to update. But for startups that don’t want to invest in a server on site—or that don’t even have an office to put a server in—the cloud is a better answer for their data storage needs, at least until they start seeing some ROI.

A client is a large financial services or healthcare enterprise. These sorts of spaces have regulatory requirements that demand that massive amounts of data need to be backed up on a regular schedule and need to be available to restore along certain lines. Many players in this industry have turned to the cloud as a way to manage these requirements.

On-Premises Is Right for My Client If…

Check the following scenarios in order to determine if on-premises is the best data storage strategy for your client:

A client wants total control. Implementing cloud services and data storage entails relying to a certain extent on a third party. Some enterprises don’t worry too much about this, but others don’t want to run the risk of downtime or data loss, however remote, that comes with reliance on outside infrastructure. If your client is one of those, stick to on-premises.

A client is already happy running on local infrastructure. It’s not always easy to migrate to the cloud, and it requires a variety of investments, from re-architecting critical software so that it can run in a cloud-based environment to re-evaluating business processes regarding software that is being replaced with cloud-based services. If a client already has everything working on-premises and is not interested in going 100 percent in on migrating to the cloud, keeping and upgrading on-premises infrastructure is the best bet.

A client has unique security needs. There are some areas where security needs extend beyond those of traditional enterprises and where even the security that a cloud provider can offer is not sufficient. If you have a client operating in such a high-stakes area, on-premises is the way to go.

Remember—whether data are kept on the cloud or in the office, securing them is always a top priority for you and your clients!

What reasons have you seen for clients keeping their own on-premises infrastructure?