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Traditional IT vs Cloud Computing: What You Need to Know

Choosing the IT computing model that works well for your day-to-day operations is one of the most important business decisions you will ever make!

Every organisation needs an efficient and secure IT infrastructure that comes with low operation costs and flexibility. These days, you have to choose from the traditional, cloud and hybrid computing models, depending on your business requirements.

But how exactly do traditional IT and cloud computing solutions differ from each other and which option would be the best choice for your business? If you were wondering the same, you have come to the right page!

In this article, we will explore the various differences between traditional IT infrastructure and cloud-based platforms so you can make an informed decision for your business operations going forward. But before we dive in, let’s learn more about both models of business computing.

Traditional IT infrastructure

Traditional IT infrastructure commonly relies on data centres consisting of various servers and other pieces of hardware, all of which are connected to a network with the help of a remote server, typically installed on the office premises. It provides access to store business data and applications to the organisation’s employees.

Cloud computing

In the case of cloud computing, all the servers and hardware are located off-premises and the resources are accessible from any location in the world. When using this model of business computing you don’t need to purchase physical servers or hardware and get to store your business data and applications on the cloud.

Before cloud became mainstream, businesses had to rely on traditional IT infrastructure in order to store business data and host their applications. It was mostly because that was the only option back then. Many businesses still continue to use the same approach today, however, other businesses have already switched to the cloud or are currently considering it.

Traditional IT versus Cloud Computing

Now that you understand both the terms better, let’s have a look at a comparison of both models of computing with regards to the benefits they provide.

Scalability and flexibility

In the case of traditional IT infrastructure, you can use only the hardware that’s installed on your premises. When you begin running out of processing power or storage space, the only solution is to rent or purchase another server. Additionally, if you decide to expand your team, you will need to purchase more computers and also software licences to go with them. Not to mention, your IT department will need to manually carry out the changes.

On the other hand, cloud-based hosting offer potentially unlimited storage space and computing resources, which can provide much-needed flexibility for businesses, especially those who are in the early stages of their growth or currently expanding their operations. If more resources are required, they will be assigned automatically without the need for manual intervention.

Operating costs

When it comes to traditional IT infrastructure, you will need to purchase additional server space and hardware upfront, in order to let your business expand. Needless to say, hardware can be pretty costly, even more so if you end up getting more resources than you will actually need. Apart from this, the value of hardware you own will significantly decrease over time and it may need replacement too, so it may not be a worthwhile asset to own for the long term.

However, cloud-based service will be hosted and maintained end-to-end by the third-party service provider you’ve chosen as your partner. This means you won’t need to hire an in-house IT team in order to manage your cloud-based operations. Secondly, you will only pay for the resources (processing power, storage space, etc.) that you actually use, nothing more and nothing less. Think of it as paying for your utility bills.

Performance and resilience

Traditional IT systems can’t always guarantee a high level of server performance. Since they have a limited capacity they are susceptible to downtime, due to which your workplace productivity can be affected. In the case of a cloud-based system, your data and applications are distributed evenly across all the servers, as they are connected to each other, working as a single system. Therefore, if one of the servers fails your data won’t be lost and downtime would be avoided. Also, the cloud will offer you more data storage and computing power which will increase productivity and performance.

Accessibility

With remote working becoming increasingly mainstream there is a growing need for solutions that are highly flexible and accessible. Even though it’s quite possible to offer your employees remote access with traditional IT systems in place, it can be a little complex and may require additional IT support on an ongoing basis. Your IT department will need to set up a virtual private network or VPN along with the necessary security protocols.

However, cloud computing will offer your team access to the data and applications from virtually anywhere and anytime, as long as they have their login credentials and a working internet connection. So, if your employees need to work remotely, it can be done with relative ease.

Security

Needless to say, your IT infrastructure is one of the most valuable assets of your business.  This is why it’s important to ensure that your business data and information is stored safely. Otherwise, there is always a risk of losing your valuable data and crucial business information getting into the wrong hands.

Since your data is stored on-site if you have traditional IT infrastructure, its security and protection lie in the hands of you and your team entirely. Whereas, if you are working with a cloud hosting provider ensuring a high level of security is their responsibility and data loss is not a concern since all your data will be backed up across various servers in their network.

Considering the migration

It’s becoming a common practice for SMEs to switch from traditional IT systems to cloud computing. However, migrating your entire IT infrastructure to cloud hosting can be a daunting task, not to mention the high costs involved. If you are considering such a migration and feel it can be difficult for your IT department to manage on its own, you can choose to work with a managed IT service provider and discuss the possibilities of utilising a hybrid approach.

Final thoughts

We hope this article helped you understand the various nuances associated with the two common business computing models. If you are still not sure about which model would be best suited for your business, feel free to get in touch with us. Our team of seasoned IT experts have plenty of experience carrying out migration tasks and ensuring the process is handled professionally. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!

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