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SMBs are often faced with the dilemma whether they should go for a hosted or an on-premise solution. There is really no right or wrong answer but companies need to assess their business needs and infrastructure before taking a decision. The fundamental point is that not all solutions work best in then Cloud or on-premise and the choice often requires a trade between security and costs to optimize returns. There are advantages and disadvantages with both platforms and these are subject to the type of software/service under consideration. The table below outlines the advantages and disadvantages of the hosted and on-premise delivery mode.

Taking the plunge: pain points

What makes the decision far from easy to take is that there are conflicting arguments and pressures.Costs are a primary concern but organizations cannot ignore issues related to security and compliance.The plunge into the Cloud is often based on the following four pain points : 

  • - Lack of resources to build an infrastructure Software licensing costs are too      expensive for a start-up
  • - Lack of resources, especially in IT
  • - Lack of technical know-how to maximize benefits of IT systems It is not  surprising that SMBs, especially start-ups, see the Cloud and
  • - hosted services as a very attractive option. However, more experienced SMBs    should be looking far beyond costs as a sole consideration.
  • - Larger organizations, particularly those operating in industries with strict legislation and compliance regulations should factor in:
  • - Third-parties are handling confidential data
  • - Redundancy–what happens if the solution provider fails.
  • - A subscription service could be expensive over time and as business grows
  • - Customization and integration with custom systems could be an issue
  • - Lack of full control over data and processes Going back to the question ‘which  is best: hosted vs on-premise?

 the answer is neither and both. The key is to find a balance between both delivery models and adapt according to the business’s needs. Simplyput: choose what makes business, security and technical sense. Some applications are great for hostingin the Cloud: CRM products, network monitoring, travel applications, systems backing up on-premise hardware/software solutions. On the other hand, applications such as accounting packages, data storage solutions for compliance purposes and most security products are best implemented on-premise. When you factor in the cost savings, the Cloud often appears to be the best choice but that does not mean that a solution’s implementation is justified in terms of the technology, the organization’s set-up and/or its requirements.

 * source : www.gfi.com

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