To some degree, this will depend on the size of your firm. Larger firms require more computers, servers with more capacity and power, and more user licenses. Not to mention the ongoing support necessary to maintain and secure these systems. The costs for implementing and maintaining an on-premises system are not necessarily cyclical – sometimes they are sporadic and hidden. To maintain an on-site system, some of the costs include:
- The actual server and networking equipment.
- Computers for each workstation.
- Server software and software for each PC, including antivirus and security software.
- IT support either in house or through a vendor, including ongoing support for daily issues, as well as bigger issues like hacks, accidents, lost laptops, etc.
- Server replacement: The useful life of your server is about 3-5 years and replacement costs need to be taken into consideration.
- Security personnel to watch over the physical premises 24/7/365.
- If the firm has more than one location (even a simple satellite office), individual servers are required in each branch, leading to a monumental hike in costs.
- Access to data is restricted and often not available across multiple devices or platforms.
We must highlight the fact that more important than the cost of security and maintenance of the system itself, the security of your data is under higher risk as it is contained in a singular location. Any act of god, a breach, power backup failure, etc. poses a serious threat to the safety of your data.
On the other hand, Cloud based systems and technologies have undergone significant innovation and transformation over the last decade. These developments, led by the likes of Microsoft, Amazon, Apple and Google, have seriously advanced the digital lives of individuals and businesses. You, your clients and your staff likely use the cloud multiple times a day, every day of the week.