Cloud-Based vs. On-Premises: How to Maximize Benefits of Each Infrastructure Model

By Ed Harnish  |  Posted 2010-08-27 Print this article Print

Vendor polarization between cloud-based and on-premises solutions is undermining the value of both infrastructure models. To reap the most benefits, organizations need to look for solutions that seamlessly and transparently support both cloud-based and on-premises deployment. Here, Knowledge Center contributor Ed Harnish explains why organizations should leverage both cloud-based and on-premises approaches to meet their evolving business needs.

From data backup technologies to antivirus solutions, vendor polarization between on-premises and cloud-based solutions is forcing organizations to make difficult-and unnecessary-choices. On-premises solutions should not just be limited to organizations with great in-house resources, nor should businesses feel compelled to move lock, stock and barrel to the cloud to take advantage of the flexible, pay-as-you-go model.

IT infrastructure design has always been influenced by business needs-from compliance requirements to cash flow and in-house expertise. So why are vendors now forcing organizations to make restrictive choices that actively compromise business security and continuity? To achieve a secure, flexible and business-relevant deployment, organizations need to seek out solutions that seamlessly support both on-premises and cloud-based deployment.

New infrastructure options

The extraordinary pace of technology change is transforming the way organizations run IT, with growing numbers opting to evolve from on-premises to cloud-based or hosted models for core applications. But how does this shift in infrastructure affect IT security? In theory, more choice puts greater pressure on organizations to be far more adaptive and to use the most appropriate technology in the right way.

But the current way technology is being sold is actually constraining an organization's ability to adapt. Organizations should not be forced to move to an all cloud-based solution or to retain all technology in-house. Instead, organizations must look to mix and match technologies, maximizing the pros and cons of each infrastructure model to deliver the most robust and cost-effective solution for each business at any particular point in time.

Ed Harnish is Vice President of Marketing at GFI Software. Ed, a 25-year veteran of the high-technology industry, has a long track record of providing both customer and shareholder value. A pioneer of the concept of customer-centric organizations (where everyone in an organization works toward a clear set of goals that empower its customer base to become more competitive), Ed has assisted dozens of companies to achieve their growth goals. Prior to joining GFI, Ed was vice president of marketing at Acronis, contributing to the company's growth from less than $20M 2005 to $120M in 2008. Ed has held senior positions at Aptus Technologies, Switchboard, and Banyan Systems. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Ed was honorably discharged in 1979. He can be reached at

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