Public Cloud vs Private Cloud – How to Choose?



For businesses, the decision to create a private cloud or use a public cloud is based on various factors. There is No One-Size-Fit all approach when it comes to choosing an IT infrastructure for your business. Both Public and Private cloud services has its own merits and demerits.  Here is our take on Public Cloud vs Private Cloud in a Q&A format.

1.       How can a business decide whether it should move all, some, or none of its IT to a cloud service?

First try to understand the characteristics of information/data before planning a move. If the data is proprietary and key to your business survival (Customer list, Product designs, Trade secrets, legal documents and contracts) keep it in-house or if you have fiduciary responsibility to protect the data of your customers (insurance agents, health care providers, universities and school districts) keep it in-house. Cloud services are better for business communications like video conferencing, remote desktop, web casts, product demos and marketing videos (Temporal, transient business operations).

2.       If a business wants to keep some functions on-site, how can it prioritize all its IT functions and choose which ones to keep and which to move?

1. Any public or semi-private business communication services like video conferencing, remote desktop, VOIP, web casts, product demos, marketing materials and videos can be moved to Cloud. Often they are cheaper than maintaining expensive in-house systems.

2. Email, File sharing systems, CRM, legal documents, product designs and compliance documents are better off if they are kept in-house. The thumb rule is anything really critical for the survival of core business, it shall be kept in-house. The main reason is 3rd party cloud provider may go out of business, change the business, change the pricing, involve in M&A or incur security breach. You don’t want your primary operations get affected by a 3rd Party risk.

3.       Does it ever make sense to move everything to cloud? Does it ever make sense to move nothing to the cloud?

The answer is No for both the questions. Choosing one over another depends on data characteristics and the type of business. Make your own assessment of cost/benefit analysis. Often running in-house IT systems can be cheaper than cloud if you take a long term view. At the same time, there are operations where Cloud can bring benefits to your organization. Choose it wisely.