Traditionally, businesses kept data on premise where the work was actually being done. It sat on a data server somewhere, even if the server was simply a repurposed desktop computer. But with the cloud as an option, how do you determine whether you should move your data there or keep it local?

If that’s a move you’re considering, give some thought to the following questions:

  1. For my organization, what are the advantages to on premise data storage?
  2. What are the disadvantages?
  3. What are the advantages of cloud-based storage for us?
  4. What are the disadvantages?

It’s probably not surprising that each organization will have some differences in their answers. But there are some commonalities as well.

A cloud solution will usually lessen your hardware footprint, often reducing hardware purchasing and maintenance requirements. However, having mission critical data in the cloud requires a full-time, stable internet connection, and maybe even additional bandwidth.

An on premise solution, on the other hand, means you can access your data in the office even if the internet goes down. And there’s no monthly fees paid to a cloud storage service.

Sometimes when an organization answers these questions, the best option becomes obvious. Often, it’s not so cut and dried. Fortunately, the cloud is not an all-or-nothing solution. There are hybrid options available. You can also opt to move to the cloud in a series of steps rather than all at once.

In addition to data, you can use these same questions to decide whether you should move your applications to the cloud. Likely not all applications you use are “cloud ready,” so that’s something you have to consider as well.