Cyberattacks and data breaches are often in the news. Why? Because bad actors have a relatively easy time sleuthing out access to business networks in the cloud.
Meanwhile, businesses are burdened with finding the right balance between the most secure and agile network possible, all for the best price possible. Cloud solutions make networks agile and accessible, so the focus becomes a quest to reduce the cost of having cloud without sacrificing security.
One area where businesses often attempt to cut costs is by opting for public cloud to manage their data and backup. When evaluating all the features of public cloud options versus private, it easily appears, at first blush, that public gives all the features you will need for much less money than the private options. Unfortunately, these balance sheets can be entirely misleading.
Prior to purchase, public cloud usually appears to have a significant cost-savings advantage. It can seem that the only potential disadvantages are:
A lack of customization capabilities. Public is a one-cloud-fits-most approach to data management. This can create a multitude of problems, especially for sensitive data, but with enough features to make it “workable”.
Greater risk of being targeted by hackers. Public cloud is much more vulnerable for attack, for the very reason that it is public. Private cloud is more obscure, and bad actors have a much more difficult time finding it. So the Network manager must be mindful to figure out additional security measures to prevent vulnerabilities.
In short, many businesses will consider some “reasonable risk” against network control and security to ostensibly save money, betting that they will not be preyed upon by hackers. Thinking about the perceived cost savings of public cloud pricing over private cloud pricing can make the decision a no-brainer. Some will gamble that their sensitive data will not be breached.
So, while the urge to minimize IT expenditures is a strong one, it leads to poor priorities that could reap costly consequences. The concern then becomes whether the company will be lucky and dodge the data breach bullet. And, if it doesn’t dodge the bullet, whether the company will even survive the cost of the aftermath.
Long term, how does this really work out?
The cost savings of private is often not seen at first blush. But in truth, for many businesses, private cloud can easily beat public on pricing.
The Myth of All-Inclusive Public Cloud Pricing
The biggest lure to public cloud pricing is that it often comes across as if it is all-inclusive. This is just not so.
It can happen that the price of public cloud at the time of the sign-on agreement winds up with a monthly bill double of that original expected price. There are so many hidden factors that make up actual cost. For instance, router use can be charged by the minute. Firewall is often an additional price. If you walked into a public cloud service agreement without understanding what your usage would be and what price structures come with it, you may be in for an ugly shock. This hard-learned truth has led many companies to discover – to their amazement – that switching to private actually turned out to be a much cheaper option. In a recent study, a surprising number of businesses found private cloud beat public cloud on price by a significant margin. In fact, almost 40% of respondents found private cloud to be cheaper than a public cloud plan they held previously.
Why Private Seems More Expensive: Honest Pricing
The reason private seems more expensive is because when a business investigates private cloud options, private cloud providers do a full assessment of what is needed. This renders an honest bid that includes everything. No surprises, no hidden costs.
Aside from the fact that the business no longer worries about all the incidental costs associated with a one-size-fits-all public cloud solution, the business has less concerns about security problems. Data breach and network compromise remediation costs are less likely to be a future expenditure. You have a network that works exactly how you need it to work, so downtime issues are managed better. Many businesses have found that reliability, after all, is worth every penny, and provides more bang for the buck. The business remains online, profitable, and safe.
The lure of public hosting over private is largely the same lure one feels with renting instead of owning: it’s the feeling that there is a more flexible commitment schedule. It’s the feeling, “If I don’t like it, I can leave it. No sweat.” Private hosting feels like a more formal arrangement with a higher commitment, one that will be harder to leave if you don’t like it.
But this feeling is deceptive and wrong.
Your data is what will be going into these vehicles, so make sure that you put your data in a good vehicle. Your data is precious. One could argue that it is your business. You don’t want to lose it or screw it up. Hands down, private cloud is more capable of taking care of your data and driving safely and effectively, so it works best for your business. In so many situations and for so many reasons regarding so many businesses, it’s the better buy.