Different businesses have different needs, but one thing that’s universal is the need for flexibility. In the new IT age, this means scalable and convenient IT solutions. This is where cloud computing and data centers come in. But while the two have similar general purposes (i.e. data storage), they are not one and the same.
What’s the difference between the two?
The primary difference between cloud computing and data centers is that the cloud stores data on the Internet (off-premise) while a data center stores data on hardware hooked up to a business’s local network (on-premise). Cloud computing does use data centers for storage but the hardware need not be located where the client is—meaning data can still be accessed anytime, anywhere.
Most cloud computing services are offered by third-party providers while data centers are usually maintained by in-house IT teams. However, it is also possible to outsource data center maintenance. Cost-wise, the cloud is more cost-effective for startups and small businesses.
What about security?
Concerns over security are understandable. Many businesses deal with sensitive or even proprietary data. Hacking incidents and data breaches do happen, but they are preventable. At the end of the day, having to take extra security measures to protect your data is worth the trouble because cloud computing and data centers have, for all intents and purposes, become business must-haves.
Either service has its vulnerabilities, but care in choosing service providers should be one guarantee of protection. Aside from security, other things to look for in a provider include redundant power, fiber-optic network connectivity, disaster recovery, and facilities support.
A Final Thought
Non-traditional workspaces have the potential to take your business to new heights if you know which tools to use. With collaboration, productivity, and security tools continuing to break new ground each year, you have very little excuse to not break out of the brick-and-mortar mold. Whether you decide to take baby steps or jump in feet-first, know that the rewards of going virtual are well worth the risks.