• Jim Finnerty

Cloud vs. On-Premises Storage

You might be reading this and think, “why do I need to go over this? My firm is digital! All our data is in a system with digital security!” And if that’s the case for you, then we should probably talk about other aspects of cloud storage, like security best practices.

But sometimes storage issues aren’t as clear as we’d like them to be. Depending on your use case, you may have a genuine choice between cloud storage and on-premise storage.

If you’ve already decided to use cloud storage, you should be aware of some of the downsides to cloud security. But that shouldn’t dissuade you! We certainly recommend cloud storage and security, but they’re not always right for everyone.

If you are struggling to decide between the two, read on!

The Case for On-Premise Storage

A case can be made for on-premise storage and security. You might want on-premise storage if you:

· Are contract-bound to keep your data on-premise at all times

· Have a legal obligation to store physical media

· Have too much data to manage and must store it physically

The main advantages of on-premises security are:

· Virtually zero cloud, internet security, or network issues

· Fewer security updates and vulnerabilities

· Tighter control over who has physical access to the data

· Fewer overall points of vulnerability

Overall, on-premise data storage is easy to set up and maintain if you have sufficient resources. On-premise data security is tight, and for many people, controlling the hardware that their data is stored on is as important as controlling the data itself.

Ongoing maintenance costs may also be an issue with on-premise storage. Periodically upgrading and expanding your infrastructure will be a must.

The Case for Cloud Storage

Using a cloud-based data storage system is generally more efficient for data owners to manage, as cloud storage systems are just premise environments that are managed by someone else. More importantly, cloud storage offers a cost-effective way to improve data redundancy, accessibility, availability, and often, security.

With cloud-based storage, you get:

· More options for storing data efficiently without the hassle of managing hardware

· More physical space in your facilities that you can use for other purposes

· Better overall accessibility with options for accessing data from virtually anywhere in the world

· Ease of use allows greater redundancy for business continuity and disaster recovery scenarios

· Control over who has digital access

· Reduced capital expenditure costs

· Easier and more efficient scalability

· More options for monitoring access and tracking activity

The overall advantages that cloud has over on-premise storage is convenience and efficiency. Being able to easily access your data has huge advantages for smaller firms. It cuts down on the maintenance of a physical space to protect your data, and also helps preserve your data for long-term use. Cloud storage options ensure you won’t need to worry about the long-term viability of your solution—the vendor will keep everything secure and up to date with the latest, most relevant technology.

Of course, there are downsides to the cloud. Every storage method has its security trade-offs, and nothing is 100% foolproof. What matters most is mitigating those trade-offs with strong security policies, processes, and procedures.

Final Thoughts About Cloud vs On-premise Storage

There are distinct advantages to both on-premises and cloud storage and security methods. But three guiding questions should point you to the solution that works best for you:

1. What are your legal obligations?

2. Which option is more efficient?

3. Will either storage option still work for you in 10 years?

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