As more and more companies have had to rapidly pivot to remote work in 2020, questions of data storage and accessibility have become top of mind.
Traditionally, companies keep their servers, operating systems, and other data hardware as physical assets on company property. While these servers offer certain advantages, they pose a considerable risk and hindrance compared to cloud data storage technologies.
With cloud hosting, servers and data are hosted by a third-party provider, allowing companies to access their data from wherever they are, and only pay for the resources they use, eliminating the cost and maintenance of physical on-prem servers.
When considering which data storage method is best suited for your company, there are certain risk factors to take into consideration. Understanding the potential downfalls of on-prem servers can help facilitate the transition to the cloud.
Top 5 Risks of Having an On-Prem Server
On-prem servers have long been the most widespread method for corporate data and software storage, providing companies with the peace of mind of a tangible asset within the four walls of their office building.
However, companies in 2020 have been faced with many challenges — including reviewing the security and efficiency of their data storage. Across industries, on-prem servers pose risks to company and client data.
1. Security Risks
On-prem servers are physical assets, and face the same dangers the rest of the building might be exposed to, including fires, floods, or break-ins. As more and more companies have also temporarily vacated their offices during the COVID-19 pandemic, data exchange has moved online and become more susceptible to cyber attacks.
Cloud servers provide 24/7 cybersecurity, all while eliminating the risk of physical damage to the servers.
2. Inability to Scale
As companies grow, their data storage needs to change and expand. Scaling physical servers is costly and time-consuming, while cloud storage and computing resources can seamlessly scale to accommodate growing companies.
Cloud hosting is also especially effective for companies expanding internationally, connecting employees, customers, and business partners around the globe with minimal effort.
3. Minimal Data Backup & Recovery
The greatest risk for on-prem servers is the loss of data and the minimal backup and recovery options available. A malfunction in the system, or a compromised system held for ransom by a bad actor can lead to a permanent loss of data on a company’s internal server. While businesses can choose to store their data on an off-site backup server, this service generates additional costs and maintenance fees.
Cloud servers are backed up regularly, securing your most up-to-date information in the event of an emergency, and enabling a swift recovery of any necessary files or entire systems.
4. Increased Costs
Keeping on-prem servers running and secure can generate a lot of extra costs, not the least of which being staffing a dedicated IT support team. Between the maintenance costs of server hardware, power consumption, and accounting for the physical space the server occupies, on-prem servers ends up costing companies more money in the long run.
With the cloud computing model, businesses only need to pay for the resources they use, without any maintenance or upkeep costs.
5. Lack of Access & Mobility for Employees
In a business landscape that is rapidly going remote, ensuring all employees have access to their company data is essential to keep things running smoothly. While data stored in on-prem servers is limited to the physical office, cloud storage takes the office anywhere employees go.
Translating on-prem servers to a remote workspace may require additional hardware, servers, or licensing, generating additional costs for a clunky transition process. In contrast, the cloud is intended for remote access, allowing employees to access their files in minutes.
Switching to Cloud Storage in 2020
In an unpredictable landscape, businesses need to be ready to adapt to new circumstances in a quick and efficient manner. Running software and keeping data stored in traditional on-prem servers creates an additional complication for companies expanding beyond their existing offices, or transitioning to a remote model.
Cloud storage technology is continuously evolving to meet the demands of the modern businesses they support, providing ample opportunity for scalability, cost-efficient services, and accessibility from any location. If 2020 has taught us anything about the future of business, it is that companies must be adaptable and flexible—and so should their servers.