Handy Tech Tips
3 questions to determine which Cloud Structure is right for your Business
Organisations looking to migrate to a Cloud environment usually have several questions about which cloud platform is best. The answer depends upon the organisations structure and application requirements as well as what their overall goal is in moving to the Cloud.
Broadly speaking, there are 3 typical cloud environments;
- Public Cloud – an organisation hosting its data and records in another organisations data-centre. This can be a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform such as Office 365 or Salesforce, or Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon.
- Private Cloud –an organization hosting its data and records within its own data-centre.
- Hybrid Cloud – any combination of the above two.
Deciding on which structure makes sense means asking the below questions;
Q1: Where are our employees located?
Generally speaking (and looking at this from a basic perspective) it makes sense for companies to place their data where their employees are. Users will always receive better performance from their system (in terms of speed) and lower operating costs from placing the data and infrastructure where the concentration of users are.
This is why businesses which have just one main location will benefit from hosting their data in a private Cloud on-premise, while organisations who have multiple locations or have employees working from home or on the road will benefit more from a public cloud setup or perhaps a hybrid setup.
A hybrid setup is best for organisations who have one main office where the bulk of their employee’s are located, as well as a smaller number of employees scattered around multiple offices or based on the road. A hybrid setup would allow the organisation to house a private data centre in their main business hub but leverage off public cloud services for their employees at different locations.
Q2: What applications are we running?
Every organisation has specific software applications necessary to the organisations operation. Some organisations will have standard off-the-shelf products which have not been customised for the organisation. These organisations can benefit from public cloud, as many cloud vendors offer SaaS cloud versions of the applications and ensure the applications are constantly up to date, allowing the organisation to not have to worry about the ongoing warranty, management or backup of these applications or the backend costs.
Organisations that have specifically designed or customised applications often benefit from running private or hybrid cloud as they can configure their physical cloud infrastructure to better synchronize with the custom apps.
Q3: What is more important... budget or flexibility?
Budget is an important question for any organisation looking to invest in their IT environment, and both private, public & hybrid have significant costs associated.
Private Cloud requires hardware infrastructure to be installed and supported which is usually more expensive upfront, however these costs can then be amortized over a relatively long lifespan (usually 3-5 years). Of course, this lifespan raises additional costs such as future application and hardware upgrades and warranty renewals, however, these are typically much smaller than the initial investment.
Public Cloud on the other hand often has a much smaller upfront cost, but the services are often more expensive over the same time frame and usually require high-speed symmetrical internet services to be functional. It is recommended that additional backup services are leveraged. These additional services need to be accounted for as part of the total cost when comparing budgets.
If an organisations workforce is centralised (the vast majority of employees in one physical location) and don’t require the ability to work remotely, then a Private cloud environment would likely be more cost efficient and provide the bulk of what the organisation requires. If, however, the organisation has a de-centralised workforce and/or require users to work remotely then a public cloud environment would be more cost beneficial.
In most instances, Private cloud will be less expensive over a 3-year term but for organisations with a decentralised or mobile workforce, it would make more sense to leverage a Public Cloud solution despite the costs as the flexibility and performance it offers are often worth the additional cost.
If you have any further questions regarding which cloud structure would be right for your organisation, please feel free to get in contact with one of our consultants on 1300 133 966 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will happily discuss the various options with you.