The Cloud vs On-Site Server Question: What SMEs need to consider

The decision to migrate to the cloud or stick with on-site servers is a critical choice, particularly those businesses with multiple sites. The challenges posed by traditional centralised networks and the need for resilient solutions to ensure seamless connectivity is something we at SMIKTECK are no stranger to, and it’s a question commonly asked by our clients. 

In this article, we weigh the pros and cons, helping you make an informed decision tailored to your business needs.

The Case for the Cloud:

Operating a multi-site business requires a robust IT infrastructure to prevent costly downtime. We often advocate for a cloud-centric solution, leveraging industry leading platforms to establish a hub in the cloud. This approach ensures that even if one or more sites encounter issues, the remaining sites continue to function seamlessly. 

Imagine you’re running a manufacturing operation with several sites across the Hunter region. Now, picture a server crash at one site – a production line grinds to a halt, materials jam the assembly line, and customer deadlines loom. With a traditional on-premise setup, this shutdown ripples through the entire network, impacting every other site.

But here’s where a cloud-centric solution becomes the hero. Think of it as a secure, central warehouse in the sky, overflowing with blueprints, inventory data, and production schedules. Even if one factory’s server has downtime, the others remain fully operational, accessing vital information and seamlessly continuing production. No materials wasted, no deadlines missed, just smooth sailing across all your sites. This cloud-based hub acts as your digital guardian angel, ensuring business continuity and avoiding costly downtime.

With such a reliable cloud hub safeguarding your operations, one question naturally arises: Are all cloud solutions created equal? The answer is not always straightforward. Some IT providers may set their clients up in a private cloud, often without the client’s knowledge. Being locked into an IT provider’s private cloud can limit your flexibility and hinder your ability to change providers. We recommend you inquire about the specifics of the cloud you’re on to avoid unnecessary constraints.

The Case for Onsite Servers

Moving to the cloud isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s essential to recognise that each business operation is unique, and a careful, independent assessment is crucial. Some IT solutions providers may oversell the benefits of the cloud without considering the specific needs and financial implications for your business. It’s not always the best solution, and the decision depends on various factors, including your business objectives. If you have a single-site operation, an onsite server may be the logical choice.

One significant consideration is cost. For example, a client with a central server and a small group of remote workers may find that maintaining an on-site server is more cost-effective than opting for a combination of onsite and cloud-based solutions. 

The key is to assess your operational requirements and financial considerations comprehensively. It may even make sense to have a hybrid solution, combining both cloud and on-site servers. 

In the cloud vs. on-site server debate, there is no simple answer. At SMIKTECK, we take an independent lens, analysing your business needs and workflows objectively to recommend the ideal mix of cloud and on-premise solutions, ensuring maximised value and seamless operations.

Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge and insight to make an informed decision that meets your business objectives. 

Curious about the best server solution or combination of solutions for your business? Contact Michael at SMIKTECK today to find out more.

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