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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Cloud vs. on-premises: It’s not either/or any more

4 November 2021 by Katie Lander

In 2021, cloud computing is more popular than ever. After an unprecedented move towards remote working over the past year, organisations everywhere have decided the benefits of the cloud vastly outweigh the drawbacks. In fact, according to Gartner, global cloud spend is forecast to grow a staggering 23.1% over 2021 to $332.3 billion, compared with $270 billion in 2020. The pandemic has clearly accelerated an existing trend towards cloud computing.

Much of this trend involves organisations who once thought the cloud isn’t for them. Now, private, hybrid and multi cloud options mean that any company can access the vast benefits that cloud offers.

 Journey to the cloud

In the early days of cloud computing, business leaders faced a choice: stay on-premises or move to the cloud. Those who migrated to the cloud found several key benefits, including accessing the most up-to-date technology and achieving a more cost-effective and scalable business model. But there are also several reasons why many chose to stay on-premises:

  • Security and compliance concerns
  • The time and cost investment of migrating
  • Not wanting to re-architect highly bespoke or legacy applications

For companies in large, established or highly regulated industries, these obstacles have long meant that moving to the cloud simply isn’t an option. Many of these barriers still remain today – though even large organisations like the NHS now recognise that the cloud is secure for their patient information.

There are still plenty of good reasons to keep information on-premises. But increasingly organisations everywhere are realising that it’s not just a binary choice between moving to the cloud and staying on-premises. Many businesses are realising that it’s possible to get the best of both worlds.

 Private cloud

Private cloud solutions are favoured by large organisations, particularly those in financial services and the public sector, who’ve long been cautious of the security implications of public cloud. It offers similar benefits in terms of scalability and costs as the public cloud, but also comes with more control and higher privacy standards, since computing resources aren’t shared with other customers or organisations.

There are many different options for a private cloud environment. Some companies choose to connect a private cloud environment to their on-premises technology. Others might choose to host particularly sensitive workflows and applications in the private cloud, leaving them free to use public cloud solutions for the rest of their information. Whatever the solution, more and more companies are now choosing to mix private cloud with other solutions, maintaining their security and compliance standards while also accessing the vast benefits the cloud has to offer.

 Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud refers to any environment that mixes cloud services with on-premises solutions – and it’s an increasingly popular way of accessing the cloud. This is generally a good option for organisations that run on highly bespoke applications or workflows – since it’s generally cheaper and easier to keep them on-premises than to entirely re-architect them in the cloud.

But that doesn’t mean everything has to stay on-premises. By connecting public or private cloud services with your on-premises servers, a hybrid solution gives you the best of both worlds.

Multi cloud

Multi-cloud environments mix services from different cloud providers – and they’ve become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, many companies will operate a multi-cloud environment without even knowing they’re doing it.

Public cloud services like AWS, Azure and G-Cloud have different strengths and weaknesses, and organisations often find that it makes more sense to use different providers for different services. You might, for instance, decide that AWS is the best place to host a customer app, while preferring the Microsoft 365 suite for collaboration. Either way, this is a popular option that gives organisations more choice over what cloud solutions to use, picking and choosing the best service for use case. 

A better deal in the cloud

Though solutions like hybrid, multi and private cloud are nothing new, they’re becoming more popular than ever – and rightly so. When it comes to technology, there’s no one size fits all approach – and organisations should be free to build the right IT environment for them.

At UKFast, we offer a single managed service for whatever solution you’re building. That’s because we offer services across the entire spectrum of cloud and on-premises technology:

Because we offer the full range of cloud and on-premises services, that means we can help advise, build and manage the right environment for you – whatever that involves.

Get in touch with our team today on

0161 358 0399