There is a lot of talk in IT circles about cloud models, but I think the conversations should be less about the deployment model and more focussed on what is best for the business. There are a few misconceptions about private cloud out there, that have been perpetuated due to early accounts of public cloud domination, and it’s skewing the conversation. 

The hype of the public cloud is gone and especially, in light of the NSA/Edward Snowden fiasco, companies are asking themselves how this will actually deliver value. Now what companies are learning is that private cloud solutions are giving enterprises the usability and flexibility of public cloud, while providing companies complete control and ownership. This is so important in the enterprise where they have massive data centres and infrastructure already invested.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The hype of the public cloud is gone and especially, in light of the NSA/Edward Snowden fiasco” user=”accellion”]

It’s crucial too for businesses to cut the hype away from the cloud and ask what’s best for their business model? This is the crucial bit – companies should be choosing a cloud deployment based on what best matches their business model, rather than trying to rearrange business models to fit a one-size fits all public cloud deployment. When it comes to cloud, there are many options – the mantra that ‘cloud fits all’ just isn’t true. 

Let’s look at the tradeoff between control and infrastructure costs. Private cloud is assumed to be more expensive than public cloud, but that’s not always the case. At a certain scale, public cloud fees continue to balloon while private cloud becomes more affordable. Because of the up-front cost of servers and equipment, many assume private cloud is pricier. But for many organisations, the equipment needed for private cloud will actually pay for itself in about 6 months. Public clouds might be affordable for smaller organisations but larger organisations already have the economies of scale to implement private clouds more cost-effectively.

Don’t assume that having a private cloud will be too expensive, it may be worth it in the end

Yet for those small businesses, being affordable doesn’t necessarily mean the cloud is the answer. Horror stories like the recent one where Box deleted a users account without permission mean that companies who have business critical data, no matter how small they may be, still back-up their data to local servers, just in case. Worse still were the reported outages in the last 6 months from Office365, Dropbox, GoogleDocs and SalesForce, which mean that even if your data isn’t at risk of a breach, your business can still come to a grinding halt by putting all of your eggs in the cloud-basket.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Not all private clouds are created equal says @Accellion” user=”comparethecloud” hashtags=”cloud”]

Additionally, it’s key to note that not all private clouds are created equal; there are many different variations. In one instance it’s an on-premise solution where the company hosts all of the equipment. There is also a version where a private cloud is hosted by a third party. As long as the servers only host information from a single business entity, the hosted version is still considered private cloud.

Finally, private cloud is experiencing a level of what you might call “private cloud-washing.” Certain solutions are being advertised as private cloud when a number of their components, like the administrative features or the authentication, are hosted in the public cloud. For companies looking at private cloud for security and privacy, it’s important not to be tricked by hidden public cloud processes.

So at the end of the day, ask your self how much control you require over your business data, and how much budget you have, because clouds come in all forms. The key to know is that if you’re concerned about security, whether from an intellectual property or regulatory compliance standpoint, the private cloud is a better bet for your business model.

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Keith Poyser, Vice President / General Manager EMEA at Accellion

With more than 20 years of experience in developing and selling technology-led products and services, Poyser has consistently been named a top performer and sales leader. This has been demonstrated by his significant sales growth while building and leading businesses at both blue chip and SMB organisations. Prior to joining Accellion, he served as Sales Director Europe and CEE for IBM’s End Point and Mobile Management Division, where he was responsible for driving significant double digit growth. Previously, Poyser ran the EMEA channel and MSP business for BigFix Incorporated, building strategic alliances with OEM’s and SI partners. Earlier in his career, Poyser had several leadership positions as a sales and business unit manager for Sun Systems/Oracle, as well as prior technology and engineering roles.  He earned a BS (hons) in English Literature from the University of London, and undertook postgraduate studies at the College of Law, London