Looking for an enterprise intranet and wondering whether to go cloud or on-prem? This post by cloud expert, Gavin Lewis explains the top reasons for going cloud.
The term “Cloud” has been around since 2006, thrown into the limelight with the launch of Amazon Web Services.
Today the cloud services industry is projected to be worth $214 Billion in 2019, 44% of that revenue going towards Cloud Applications, also known as SaaS (Software as a Service). Further projections show those numbers are also growing year on year.
Many organizations have a cloud first or cloud preferred strategy in place, though what this means between organizations can vary greatly.
For some, this strategy just means they do a lift-and-shift of any existing on-premise systems and run them on servers in a cloud provider like AWS or Azure – essentially acting as an extension or replacement of their own internal data centers.
For others, the strategy means they will always opt to run their applications as SaaS – I’m going to expand on the latter.
What does this mean for your intranet?
Running your intranet in the cloud has a number of advantages vs on-premise, here are our top 5:
Everyone wishes they had more time in their day!
One of the biggest advantages SaaS holds over on-premise is the amount of time it takes to get started - SaaS applications can be up and running within a matter of hours.
This differs from on-premise where you may need to purchase and deploy physical hardware, or at the very least provision and configure a virtual environment for software installation – potentially weeks of time before getting started!
Most cloud applications are built on an environment which is designed to be scalable, this is because they expect over time they will add more customers to their application.
Scalability is also often combined with high-availability and fault tolerance, which ensures your intranet will be operational when you need it most.
Comparing this to on-prem - as your business grows you would generally need to purchase more hardware or increase resources which often results in downtime. There are also unplanned server outages which can cause all kinds of disruption to an organization.
Cloud applications are inherently accessible as they are built to be available from anywhere.
As organizations grow and become more flexible, it’s not uncommon for team members to work from varying locations - from home, on the road or in offices around the world. Employees need the ability to access the intranet on desktops or mobile devices - no matter where they are.
With on-premise solutions, this can be difficult (or impossible) due to all kinds of restrictions - internet bandwidth, infrastructure required – the list goes on.
4. Security and Compliance
One of the most important questions we get asked is around security and compliance of data.
One benefit to using SaaS applications - especially when the vendor is built on a provider like AWS or Azure - is that, at a very base level, the data centers meet a wide array of security and compliance programs which most organization’s data centers or server rooms don't.
As the end user using an SaaS application, all you need to take care of is the security controls and data within your intranet - your intranet vendor takes care of the platform and infrastructure it’s built on and the cloud provider takes care of everything else.
For a deeper dive into security and compliance - download our free eBook:
On-premise applications cost more to run, both directly and in-directly.
At the very least your chosen on-premise intranet software will generally cost more to purchase or license from your chosen provider as it will usually take more time to build, support and deliver.
Other indirect costs come from:
Hardware for running your intranet
Software licenses (such as Windows and SQL server)
Time taken for IT to maintain all of the required components
Because a cloud application cuts out multiple people and components, it costs less to operate in the long run.
Hosting your intranet in the cloud is nothing new - at GreenOrbit, we’ve had a cloud offering since 2013!
Over this time, we’ve helped our customers benefit from all the cloud has to offer - including reducing their costs by up to 50%!
Whether you’re just starting out on your journey to the cloud, or are looking to optimise your experience - our intranet specialists would love to help.