In-House or Cloud? Where is More Secure?

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Whether you are upgrading old servers because of business expansion, or considering moving to the cloud because your IT infrastructure is out of date and does not support your business as it should, there are many reasons to deliberate carefully before choosing an in-house or cloud service delivery model. It’s a tough decision that will profoundly affect your business and the management of day to day operations.

Cloud technology is fundamentally changing the IT perspective, the way we work and communicate, but the decision about where to store company data can nevertheless be a headache for managers. Enterprises are ever more willing to adopt cloud services because of the efficiency and flexibility they bring. Technology has moved forward, and we can easily find compelling reasons to change our business model from an in-house data center to one based in the cloud. The benefits of using cloud-based solutions are obvious – they provide fast and easy deployment of infrastructure, a reliable environment and lower TCO.

Nevertheless, security concerns can dissuade decision-makers from having sensitive data processed outside their companies. In this context, legal requirements related to data protection and contractual liability can both be deal breakers, but the fact is that cloud security does not have to be an issue today, as the majority of providers have adopted the best security practices to protect their resources and are certified to common security standards. 

Despite this, there are lingering concerns that cloud computing is less secure than the traditional approach. However, is this really true? It is based primarily on the fact that CSOs feel uncomfortable with important company files or personal data stored on servers which they cannot physically control. However, security is not the only aspect of exercising such physical control. You might, after all, develop and maintain your own IT system from scratch, but without rigorous attention to security it will not be as secure as you would expect – and that is true whether it is based in the cloud or in-house.

Without the right security strategy and best in class technology, both approaches can be unsecure. Thus, the real question to ask yourself is whether you feel comfortable with the security of your systems? Data loss protection, data encryption, access control, anti-malware and DDoS protection are just a few of the areas you need to address. Secure data processing requires highly trained and experienced engineers, investment in security infrastructure and appropriate security governance. With that in mind, can you say that you are truly at ease with the effectiveness of your security?

Today, the real question is not whether we should outsource IT infrastructure, but when we will be ready to do so. Of course, switching from a traditional in-house environment to a cloud-based service is a tough choice for managers, and each of them can find different reasons to do that. Appropriate risk assessment and IT operation analysis need to be carried out in order to make the most appropriate decision. Business expectations and the necessity of data protection are changing. They are getting more demanding. Fulfilling data availability and confidentiality requirements impacts heavily on the way IT should support business. Establishing a reliable partnership in the areas of data center and cloud services may prove by far the better option in terms of business operation and security management when compared to your in-house solution, with the former delivering greater financial and operational benefits in the long-term. 

So, cloud-based or locally-hosted? There is no one good answer, no definitive ‘best’ service delivery model for storing your company’s data. Rather, there is a ‘most appropriate’ model that depends on the unique requirements of your business, the size of your company and your budget. For large enterprises, the decision may be strategic; for smaller companies, it could be about finding the only reasonable way of building IT structures. 

Comarch ICT offers the Cloud Enterprise Platform, delivered with a full set of managed hosting services that can be adopted to your business strategy and aligned to your security policy for IT operations. With 25 years of experience in providing advanced IT solutions for customers all over the world, Comarch is a proven and reliable business partner for long-term service delivery.

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