Cloud computing has given businesses greater flexibility for efficient workforce collaboration and data storage.
Public cloud platforms, like DropBox and Box, are well-known to workers in the virtual world.
But with enterprise security remaining a major concern for businesses, the debate of public cloud versus private cloud continues.
Which is better for your enterprise? And what about the third option: hybrid cloud?
A public cloud, managed by a third-party provider, gives you access to a larger network, including applications.
The “pay-as-you-go” model might mean your monthly fee fluctuates, but because you’re sharing the infrastructure pool with other users, the cost is more reasonable than a private cloud.
Don’t dismiss the security of a public cloud too quickly. Many IT professionals believe that public clouds have invested more money, time, and resources in securing their network than private enterprises.
A private cloud enables internal control, in terms of access, applications, and security.
Your network is protected by your IT team. You don’t pay a monthly SaaS fee, but you do have the investment of cloud management—to purchase, deploy, maintain, update, and secure the the virtual private cloud infrastructure.
While you’re weighing the pros and cons of cost and security containment, let’s look at another alternative: the hybrid cloud solution.
A hybrid cloud represents a compromise between the public and private cloud models. A hybrid is managed by a third-party provider that offers more flexibility. You can secure parts of your network in a private environment, without incurring the infrastructure cost and management of a private cloud. The public aspect of a hybrid gives you the flexibility to leverage the cloud when workload demands suddenly rise.
Before you choose your enterprise cloud solution, consider your needs for the present and foreseeable future. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you limited in capital and IT resources, or experience waves of demand for network use? In these instances, the public cloud might be a good choice.
- Does your business face tight security restrictions that demand a private cloud? If you have the resources to fund and manage a private cloud, then consider this option.
- Do you anticipate moving entirely to a private cloud but aren’t ready to make the investment yet? If so, consider the hybrid cloud.
A recent Forbes article predicted that cloud consumption—across public, private, and hybrid—will keep growing, from 31% in 2014 to 58% in 2018. Their survey of CIOs also showed that, as cloud adoption rises, internal IT consumption will fall from 67% to 42%.
Cloud computing is a big decision and a significant investment, no matter what you choose. Public clouds will continue to improve their services. Private clouds might become more affordable with the expected growth. And hybrid clouds could bridge the gap sufficiently to answer your needs.
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