It’s impossible to avoid the rise and growth of cloud computing. It’s been huge. From large businesses to tech adverse parents navigating their first iPhone, cloud technology has seemingly reached everybody. In the business world, many have heralded the end of onsite IT infrastructure – the death of the server. But it’s time to stop writing the eulogies. The onsite server isn’t dead. Nor will it be any time soon.
The cloud computing revolution has been brilliant. There’s no doubting how much cloud technology has improved all walks of life and none less so than the workplace. Low upfront costs, easy to scale environments and fast deployment times make cloud technology appealing. Many businesses have therefore switched from traditional infrastructure to cloud-based, over the last few years. That’s without mentioning cloud software and the meteoric rise of Software as a Service (SaaS).
The end of the onsite server had arrived, many argued. Monthly payments, as opposed to large capital investments in hardware and infrastructure, have indeed proved popular with smaller businesses. With increases in cyber crime, the security provisions of a purpose-built data centre have also proved appealing.
However, there’s still worth in onsite infrastructure and it certainly isn’t going anywhere soon. Below are just three reasons why.
Regulation and legislation are slow to change and behind the times.
Many organisations and industries have strict data regulations, companies must abide by. Regulation takes a long time to change, especially in comparison to the development of technology. This is especially evident with GDPR and the Data Protection Bill, which will soon replace the Data Protection Act (DPA). The Data Protection Act came into force in 1998, which is twenty years ago. Just think how far technology has developed in that time.
In 2007 we saw the birth of the iPhone. That’s nine years after the Data Protection Act.
With regulation struggling to keep up with technology, there will be some businesses that simply cannot adopt cloud-based technology. This will be due to regulations forced upon them. For these businesses, a server will remain necessary and may do so for some time.
Onsite infrastructure provides greater control and security provisions (for those with the skills).
One of the biggest downsides of cloud-based technology is the control you surrender. Cloud service providers often grant users a lot of access and functionality when it comes to their services. However, the inevitability is, you will never have the same control as infrastructure that is your own. If the server is yours, it is yours to do as you see fit. This control can be extremely beneficial.
Firstly, not all businesses fit a conventional model. There aren’t always ‘one size fits all’ services that meet their requirements. Even heavily customised or bespoke cloud plans can fail here. You often don’t have an influence on the physical hardware involved in cloud technology. What’s more, cloud-based services may change some of their features or functionality, or even stop it all together. Should this happen, you have no option but to adapt or move provider.
You also devolve many security provisions to that of your provider. They will provide security for your data. By having an onsite server, you keep control. You can configure your IT network how you see fit, without outside influence. However, this only applies if you have IT skills or resources, such as an IT support company. If you have no IT knowledge, the outsourced security may, in fact, be a benefit.
The cloud is reliant on the internet.
Internet connectivity has improved a lot in the last few years. In 2018 we will start to see the rollout of 5G. However, it doesn’t completely resolve cloud technology’s Achilles heel. Simply put, without an internet connection you cannot use it. It’s unavailable. Of course, there are always ways and means around this. For example, leased lines are becoming cheaper and more accessible for many businesses.
However, despite this, some businesses can’t always rely on a fast, stable internet connection. Even if they could, what happens in the event of a disaster? Redundancy connections are available but for smaller businesses, the cost can be too large to warrant. On the other hand, an onsite server and IT network doesn’t have these limitations. Employees will still be able to access files and work, despite a drop in internet connection.