Cloud | 04.22.2020

When is Public Cloud Better than Private Cloud?

Businesses looking to establish or expand their use of cloud technology have some important decisions to make. Among those is whether you should opt for a private cloud architecture or public cloud. But how to decide? Why should one prefer public cloud over private cloud? If you’re weighing which model fits your needs, consider the following advantages of public cloud.

You need scalability

One big benefit of public cloud is its ability to scale up and down to meet your organization’s needs in the moment. If your business has cyclic resource demands—seasonal sales peaks, for example—public cloud enables you to quickly spin up additional capacity to handle increased customer traffic, higher transaction volumes, an influx of new users, and expanded storage space. Your company may also have a need to react to unexpected phases of high activity. The scalability of public cloud makes it easy to keep pace with abrupt shifts in market conditions. And because you can also reduce your capacity as your needs decrease, you aren’t stuck with extra resources that will go unused. With public cloud, you only pay for what you need.

Not only does public cloud position your enterprise to react to changing needs, those same scalability advantages can help you proactively develop the right resources for new projects and business initiatives. Want to quickly expand a core system to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace? Public cloud gives you the ability to do that so the right resources are ready when you need them. Does an upcoming product launch mean your workforce will grow? You can add capacity as part of your hiring process so new users aren’t bogged down while you try to upgrade older, on-premise hardware.

Your business continuity plan needs a boost

Like many companies, you may have discovered gaps in your business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) strategy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations that originally assumed they could maintain operations learned they didn’t have sufficient resources to quickly enable widescale remote access, to reallocate critical workloads and applications when their in-house systems became stressed, or to expand their capacity to accommodate increased activity due to the crisis. Public cloud has proven valuable in addressing many of these BC/DR shortcomings by giving companies a way to swiftly adjust their IT environments to better align with the evolving situation. With the capabilities of public cloud at the ready, your business will have more options when it comes to maintaining operations and recovering from disasters.

 You need the latest in security

Cybersecurity is a top priority for companies but maintaining a strong security posture around private cloud resources in such a dynamic threat environment is difficult. Public cloud enables you to hand off security functions to your solution provider. They’ll manage the deployment of software and hardware patches, execution of routine penetration testing and other vulnerability assessments, and they’ll monitor your environment for potential intrusions and other threats. Top public cloud solution vendors keep highly experienced security talent on staff, so your internal team no longer needs to try to maintain awareness of an ever-changing threat landscape. Your risks will be diminished, and your cloud resources will be protected by world-class knowledge and the latest security tools.

Your technology budget is limited

When you run your own private cloud, your users only have access to the features and functionalities you can afford to deploy. In contrast, public cloud vendors often maintain the latest version of each technology in their portfolios, providing you with capabilities that would likely be outside your normal budget. And though many standard features are included in the fee structure for public cloud, you can selectively add even more services and capabilities for much less than you’d pay for a full-scale internal deployment.

Along with broader access to the latest technology, public cloud also significantly reduces your capital expenditures for new hardware. Server purchases become the responsibility of your cloud provider and large recurring expenses such as power, cooling, and real estate to house that hardware are something you no longer need to fund.

You don’t have internal staff to manage your cloud environment

Your technology talent already has a lot to do—user support, budget forecasting, oversight of strategic projects. Given that many companies run very lean IT groups, it can be difficult to juggle higher-value tasks in order to dedicate the right staff resources to running a private cloud. Public cloud services don’t force you to make those tradeoffs. The administration of your cloud environment is handled by your solution provider, so everything from security updates to the rollout of new tools to hardware maintenance and replacement is taken care of for you. Your internal staff can focus their energy on delivering the best technology experience for users and driving mission-critical initiatives that help your company reach its strategic goals.

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