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What your business should know about private vs. public cloud

Cloud computing is playing an increasingly important role in day-to-day business operations. From enabling remote work to streamlining workflows and boosting resilience, cloud services remove traditional limits and level the playing field for small to mid-sized businesses.

When developing your cloud strategy, you’ll need to decide what’s a better choice for your business – the public cloud or a private cloud? Both options have advantages and disadvantages. Here’s what your business should know about each.

How the public cloud works

Your business probably already uses the public cloud to some extent. Software as a service (SaaS) is the most commonly used type of cloud service. Platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) also fall within the public cloud sphere.

These services involve cloud computing services that are shared by different customers. The cloud service provider will have a data center – or multiple data centers – that house servers used to store your data and run your applications. As an example, when your business signs up for a SaaS solution such as a cloud-based project management app or email marketing service, it relies on the same computing service as all the provider’s other customers.

The cloud vendor is responsible for managing and maintaining the servers. As a result, each customer benefits from lower IT costs yet still gets to access ample computing power. Even though your data and apps may live on the same servers as other users, they’re hidden from the other cloud customers.

The public cloud has obvious benefits: cost-savings and increased efficiencies because businesses don’t have to pay for on-premise software licenses, hardware, or enough IT staff to manage in-house resources. The global public cloud services market is expected to reach $257.9 billion in 2020, a 6.3 percent increase from 2019. SaaS and IaaS are the fastest-growing segments of the public cloud market.

How the private cloud works

If your business doesn’t like the idea of using shared computing space, you may want to use a private cloud – or at least a hybrid cloud model that combines both public cloud services and a private cloud.

With a private cloud, you’re still renting cloud servers from a provider. However, no other customers are using your cloud, which offers peace of mind. This gives your company more privacy and control over your data and applications running in the cloud.

There are dozens of private cloud options available. The largest names include Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), VMware, and IBM. As you’re essentially getting more with the private cloud – greater flexibility, control, and privacy – it is more expensive. Not as many businesses opt for a private cloud, but the market is still growing. From 2020 to 2025, the global market is expected to grow from $60.3 billion to $205.4 billion.

Choosing the right cloud for your business

Private or public cloud – which will best serve your business’s needs? The public cloud offers efficiency and cost-savings. It’s also easily accessible – your business can subscribe to a service and begin using a cloud-based solution right away. The private cloud is ideal if you have specific security regulations to follow for compliance reasons or sensitive data that has to be handled differently. You have control over what hardware is used, and you don’t have to worry about other customers using the same servers as yours.

To decide what’s best for your business, you’ll need to look at all of your requirements. The more tailored your approach to cloud services, the more your business stands to gain. That’s why it’s worthwhile to partner with a team of cloud experts like KME to manage your cloud infrastructure and to help you select the best cloud-based options for your needs. 

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