IT Support &
Business Software

In-house Server or Cloud: which is best for your SME?

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cloud-solutionsWith increasing data volumes, software applications and pressure on communication, businesses are often left wondering whether they should invest in an in-house server or move to the Cloud. This decision should not be taken lightly; it affects your day-to-day operations and has cost, availability, scalability and security implications.

Whether your small business has outgrown its existing server or is looking to replace an ageing server, now is the perfect time to review your setup. We address the pros and cons of each option below.

In-House Server

In-house servers have traditionally been the solution of choice for hosting applications, files and emails for many businesses Whilst the Cloud has grown in popularity, in-house servers remain a viable option, as outlined below:

Pros:

  • Complete physical control over your server
  • Infrastructure can be developed to meet the specific needs of your business
  • Sensitive and critical data are kept in house, without third party access
  • No need to rely on an internet connection to access your data
  • May be cheaper for businesses that aren’t concerned about uptime

Cons:

  • Requires initial capital investment in hardware and infrastructure, as well as future upgrade investments
  • Requires space in your office and incurs additional costs in terms of IT support and energy consumption
  • Remote access to your data is more difficult
  • Increased risk of data loss and disruption to business continuity following a disaster

Cloud Server

Cloud computing is on the rise. With improved security, availability and scalability, it’s understandable why many businesses have migrated their data storage to the Cloud. As with on-site servers, there are several advantages and a few drawbacks, as outlined below:

Pros:

  • No need for on-site hardware or capital expenditure
  • Increased mobility and productivity as data can be accessed from any location, anytime
  • Easily scalable as the demands of your business change
  • Access to sophisticated security features such as data encryption
  • Data can be backed up regularly in the Cloud, reducing the risk of data loss

Cons:

  • User experience is dependent on internet connection speeds
  • Third party cloud services could have access to your data
  • Any internet outage would prevent access to your data
  • Monthly hosting costs can be higher for businesses requiring on strong up-time performance

In-House Vs. Cloud Server – Summary

So, should you go down the traditional route and use an in-house server or subscribe to a Cloud server? As with most solutions, the answer depends on the specific needs and budget of your business. Moreover, with pros and cons for each setup, businesses may benefit from a hybrid approach – using a combination of both in-house and cloud based solutions, giving you access to the best of both worlds.

Cloud adoption has increased year-on-year and is expected to continue rising for the foreseeable future. Having said that, Cloud services only form part of the wider IT estate and will continue to sit alongside on-premise solutions for some time to come.


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