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When the Cloud Doesn’t Make Sense

A look at rare cases where businesses can operate without cloud computing but can still benefit from the cloud.

What conditions are not conducive to cloud computing?

Even though the cloud is exceptionally versatile and agile, there are rare instances where it doesn't make sense for a business to use it as its sole form of infrastructure. According to Jason Monroe, Solution Consultant at Bit-Wizards, companies operating without cloud computing are considered unicorns in the IT realm.

"Relying on an on-premises solution alone consists of such a small sliver of the business community," says Monroe. "It still overwhelmingly makes sense to be in the cloud in some form."

Businesses that have no plans to grow or change

If your business has no plans to expand its services or employees, it can technically function without cloud computing. An on-premises solution, also called on-prem, is an effective option for smaller companies that need to store proprietary data, manage network access, and create or edit user accounts. For businesses that plan to stay consistent in size and capability, there is no need to consider options that accommodate growth in the near or distant future, but businesses that intentionally ignore growth potential are few and far between.

A vast majority of businesses account for scalability in their business models, whether the decision to include it is made before or after a company is established. Scalability inherently involves long-term financial considerations, and using the cloud enables businesses to make adjustments without incurring significant costs to acquire additional servers or other hardware. If you start a business and ignore scalability but change your mind after a few years, it would have been much easier to adjust if your company's infrastructure had previously migrated to the cloud.


Operations that can't depend on internet access

Even though the internet is an integral part of our personal and professional lives, certain companies must be able to continue normal operations even if their internet connection is interrupted or severed. Brian Schlechter, MITS Technical Team Manager at Bit-Wizards, mentions that many public safety agencies and emergency services cannot rely on the cloud alone.

"If you work in a hospital or fire station, certain parts of your team's functions must depend on an on-prem infrastructure," says Schlechter. "If you lose internet and only use the cloud, you lose access to essential functions."

Even though hospitals and emergency services must have on-prem solutions to ensure consistency regardless of connectivity, these agencies often use cloud infrastructure to create backup servers and switch to them in the event that an on-prem server fails. For public safety professionals, the cloud is essential to receive up-to-date information while handling emergencies, especially during the widespread effects of a natural disaster. If an agency exclusively uses an on-prem solution, there is no way for that agency's database to share crucial details with offsite employees instantaneously.

Business owners with bottomless budgets

Unless you're a billionaire tech mogul, it is unlikely that your company's budget is limitless. If a business has an overwhelming amount of money and can buy all its equipment instead of paying to use cloud infrastructure, then there is no need to be concerned about outdated hardware and software costs throughout that business' lifetime. Since servers last anywhere from two to 10 years and cost at least $5,000 or several times that amount to replace, establishing and maintaining an on-prem solution is a considerable long-term investment that requires significant capital expenses.

"If you have a big pile of cash and have no idea what to do with it, you can buy a bunch of servers instead of using cloud infrastructure for your business," Schlechter explains. "You could potentially save money in the long run, but it still involves significant up-front and recurring costs when you purchase your first set of servers and repeatedly replace them."

The cloud offers several cost benefits for businesses with limited budgets, which are practically all businesses. By using cloud infrastructure, your company can avoid dealing with typical on-prem costs related to:

  • Purchasing and maintaining server equipment
  • Establishing sufficient security measures
  • Coping with significant downtime due to hardware issues
  • Increasing your team's size or capabilities

Businesses with teams of IT whizzes

If you own a business that has a dedicated, Avengers-like team of professionals who are experts in all things IT, you can potentially avoid cloud computing while successfully running your business. It takes extensive knowledge and experience to run an entire company's servers, manage a network, and handle issues that may arise in between.

For most businesses, their IT rosters often have skills gaps since a comprehensive team should be composed of:

  • Software engineers
  • Network engineers
  • Cloud infrastructure engineers
  • Cybersecurity engineers
  • Infrastructure engineers

Even with an IT team with sufficient knowledge of their specialties, Schlechter says it is challenging to create a team capable of covering every discipline with fewer people. Even if you have more than five people on your team, it may not be enough since IT covers many subsets.

"Knowing all the pieces required to make a server is a skill," says Schlechter. "You can teach someone if they don't know it, but there are costs and significant time associated with preparing your IT team to manage an on-prem solution."

Can a business really work without the cloud?

These situations demonstrate that while the cloud may not be useful in very rare and specific circumstances, it is widely recommended in most cases. Some people believe that the cloud creates too many vulnerabilities, but the cloud is already involved in everyday life across the world. With its global implementation in day-to-day functions, Schlechter says your business should be no different.

"Some business owners choose to exclusively use on-prem solutions because they have concerns about using the cloud for their work," says Schlechter. "If you write and send an email saying you're worried about using the cloud, you've just used the cloud."

Having an on-site server is a great option, but most instances benefit from adopting a hybrid situation instead of choosing an on-prem solution exclusively. Whether your business is leaning toward a cloud or hybrid solution, the Managed IT Services (MITS) team at Bit-Wizards can help you.

"Bit-Wizards works with cloud infrastructure because we believe the cloud is a better solution," Monroe says. "Your business stands to benefit greatly from the cloud, and we're here to connect you to those benefits and efficiencies."

Ready to connect to the cloud? Contact us today.


Natalie Ewing, Content Writer
Natalie C. Ewing

Content Writer