Nowadays, if you need to store professional data or use softwares within your company, you have two choices: the Cloud (store data in an external server, accessible via the Internet), or the on-premise (data and softwares stored on your own servers, internally). Cloud is used in most of the companies to store their data. According to the 2019 Insee’s report on cloud computing and big data, in the European Union, in 2018, 23% of small businesses (less than 50 employees) and 53% of medium businesses (more than 250 employees) used cloud computing services. Some MDM solutions provide two types of digital hosting (cloud or on-premise) while others specialize in cloud computing.
What are the main differences, the pros and cons of each? Why opt for storage entirely in the cloud rather than on-premise?
The biggest difference between the Cloud and the On-premise solution is the price. Indeed, an on-premise solution could seem affordable but it is investing in internal servers does not only means to invest in the material but also on the implementation, the employees, the training, the maintenance costs…
Moreover, on-premise infrastructure requires trained employees, who are able to manage the solution without reaching out to the supplier. A big company with a trained IT service could think of having an on-premise solution, but most businesses do not have the resources. A small business for example, will not necessarily have qualified employees and time to train them. Also, they do not have enough time and money to spend on configuring and setting up the on-premise solution. In this case, the Cloud is more adapted as it avoids a huge loss of human, financial and time-consuming investments.
Even though some are reproaching the Cloud computing to be unsecured, data risk and ransomware attacks are not less likely to happen on an on-premise solution. Indeed, businesses which choose to internally manage their professional data should protect the servers from internal attacks, building intrusions, natural disasters, employees departures… With an internal infrastructure, once data are lost, there is no possible way to restore them, which is not the case for Cloud storage. Choosing cloud computing enables experts to secure as they know, the data. Indeed, data stored on Cloud are completely secured on encrypted servers which only the company-owned has access to. Even if an issue happens within the company, as a material theft, all the company data is secured in another building.
Another example, if a security breach is found, as it was for a Mobile Device Management solution recently, to resolve the issue is way more complicated for an on-premise than for a cloud solution. MDM solutions that are 100% cloud computing manage the issue, fix it and then update their servers to protect as soon as possible their clients. While for an on-premise solution, it is way more complicated: the virus that attacked the mobile fleet management solution will easily be able to attack the solution’s clients servers. It is the client’s responsibility to update its infrastructure on time. Without a trained IT team, hackers will have time to penetrate the company servers and to hack all the professional data.
Third important point: to work with cloud software allows easier and quicker deployment. Most of the software on the market are Saas (Software as a service) and provide purchase per licence.
If we take the example of a MDM solution: within a company, the number of users which have a mobile device is increasing in time, so as the licences. If a company chooses a SAAS solution, accessible from the internet, it will be able to quickly change its number of devices and to be quickly up and running. However, by using an on-premise solution, each modification on the subscription will be a loss of time. On cloud infrastructure, administrators only need an internet connexion to access the console, no matter the device, the place and the infrastructure. All the maintenance, store, software operation is the software provider’s responsibility.
On-premise infrastructures are still available today but less and less used by companies. Indeed, they are too expensive, obsolete for the current market and the cloud computing is an excellent substitute: easy-to-access and less complicated and restrictive. As you can see on the graph, published in the 2019 Insee’s report “Cloud computing and big data”, no matter the business sector, the cloud computing is increasing within the European Union companies.
Will the cloud be able to definitely delete the on-premise solutions?
On-premise-based MDM solutions are becoming increasingly rare, as the industry considers this approach to be obsolete and far from optimal. It is also impossible to avoid the cloud: even if you choose an on-premise solution, data will be stored in the cloud. This makes an infrastructure more complex…
A MDM solution, such as one for Android devices, uses Google Cloud regardless of whether it is on-premise based. As soon as the console sends a notifications on a device for tasks like application installation or updates for example. Some MDM software, such as the French solution TinyMDM, have decided to be entirely based on the cloud to avoid complicating the solution and to allow an ever simpler and more secure use.