Generally speaking, TitanFile is a SaaS (Software as a Service) cloud solution. So we are of course a “SaaS first” company when it comes to choosing what tools our team uses. SaaS first doesn’t mean that it is the only option – it means that all other things being equal, it is what we chose.
Problematically, many of the people best equipped to provide advice on which type of solution is optimal for an organization to adopt are already members of the hosted/on-premises school of thought. You see, technology aficionados like myself tend to be religious in their affiliations. OSX vs Windows vs Linux, Android vs iOS, .net vs Open Source and of course on-premises vs cloud. We sometimes fail to see that the pros and cons of any solution are more nuanced than the black and white world we see our (generally) opposing camps in.
It is more than just user preference on the part of IT administrators and external consultants. These divides run very deep – in many cases, subconsciously or otherwise, it boils down to training and core competencies. If you have spent your career becoming more and more specialized at managing Microsoft.net ecosystems, the odds that you will recommend a Linux server solution are likely lower than someone who instead has long been a Linux specialist. If your consulting practice specializes in facilitating SAP migrations, SAP is likely to be the solution that is recommended the majority of the time. As Abraham Maslow said “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
Preferences for cloud or on-premises solutions are no different. Many of us are from an era when having your own, on-premises solution was not only the important mark of a true enterprise, but also the most effective way to secure your data and ensure uptime. Those days are long over, but the bias remains. Now, organizations without larger, specialized IT teams maintaining their own tier of on-premises solutions for email, file sharing and servers are more likely to experience outages and security breaches than those using SaaS solutions. Even an organization as security sensitive as the CIA is adopting cloud solutions.
So when is a cloud option the right solution? Here are a few questions to ask:
- Do you have dedicated IT staff with time to oversee the implementation and ongoing maintenance of a new on-premises solution?
- Is moving to monthly subscription costs over upfront hardware purchases and ongoing upgrades for an on-premises solution desirable?
- Do stakeholders require a solution that can be accessed out-of-the-office on a variety of devices? When new devices are released, how quickly could an on-premises solution be updated to adapt to it?
There are of course times when an on-premises solution is the right choice. In some cases, legislation may prevent cloud adoption, so could required integration with an existing legacy solution. However, in almost all cases, the old fall-back reasons of security and privacy for not adopting cloud solutions are outdated. Reputable cloud providers have entire teams of people dedicated to securing their products and protecting their client’s security. The same is rarely the case in most organizations – where a small, generally under-resourced team is tasked with the thankless job of maintaining a wide-range of software and hardware against constantly evolving threats.
Have you had challenges adopting cloud solutions in your workplace? Let us know more about your experience below.