More and more companies are switching to cloud solutions instead of having an on premise server, meaning one located in the same physical location as the business. So how can you tell when your small business actually needs a server? Or do small businesses ever need a server?

Let’s look at the two options and when one would be a better choice than the other.

On premise server

The single biggest advantage to an on premise server is faster data transmission.

Let’s assume that your workforce is located in the same building as your server. In that case, an on premise server is going to be far faster than cloud services.

If your team is downloading and uploading lots and lots of data, the data transmission speed can make a huge difference. Or if they upload and download large files, the speed can also make a difference. So in cases like those, you may want to go with an on premise server.

Cloud based storage

Do you have a distributed workforce? Or even a large percentage of your workforce that works from home or in different offices? In those cases, cloud based storage may be a better option.

Do you have a team that travels a lot? Do they need the same access to their data and files that they would have in the office? In that case, cloud based storage would be the better option.

Do you want to avoid ongoing maintenance on a server that’s located in your office? In that case, cloud based storage would definitely be a better option.

So which one should you choose?

For most businesses, cloud based storage makes a lot of sense. With today’s Internet speeds, storage and security capabilities of the cloud, often the need for an on premise server is eliminated.

Of course, a qualified IT professional will be able to advise you based on your specific situation. But often the cloud is a better option for small businesses.