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The cloud revolution has transformed how business operates. A recent IDC white paper commissioned by Microsoft highlights the economic benefits of public cloud adoption in Australia and New Zealand. The study predicts that by 2026, cloud spending will generate over A$114 billion in Australia and NZ$21 billion in New Zealand in cumulative new revenue.

Cloud hosting offers scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, making it an intriguing alternative to traditional on-premises infrastructure. But when it comes to cloud adoption, it’s an age-old decision: rent or buy?

And your choice is not without its pros or cons.

Renting

The subscription model, championed by the likes of Microsoft Azure and AWS, has become the de facto standard. And to be fair, it’s a compelling proposition where the pros can outweigh the cons:

  • Lower upfront costs: Minimal to no CapEx spend in the budget.
  • Scalability on demand: Scale computing resources up or down as business peaks and troughs arrive. This little nugget benefits businesses with seasonal trade and/or unpredictable workloads.
  • Reduced IT burden: The cloud providers handle the infrastructure management, patching, updates, and some security (caveat emptor). Reduce or free up IT resources to focus on core initiatives.
  • Simplified management: The cloud provider handles all that messy change control and maintenance.
  • High availability: Cloud platforms provide geographically dispersed data centres, ensuring redundancy and disaster recovery (DR) capability.
  • Innovation on tap: Cloud providers constantly offer new cutting-edge services like AI and machine learning that businesses can readily leverage without significant investment.

Renting

Buying

Owning your cloud infrastructure, however, is ideal for companies needing to meet strict security and compliance requirements. Ownership brings direct control over data and systems, allowing for bespoke security measures and adherence to specific regulatory requirements. This autonomy can be critical for organisations in industries with stringent compliance and data protection standards. While renting offers undeniable convenience, buying has its benefits too:

  • Control and customisation: There’s a lot to be said about complete control in terms of both configuration and security.
  • Data privacy: Owning your infrastructure negates any multi-tenant cloud concern.
  • Regulatory compliance: Of course, industry regulation might dictate strategy, irrespective.  
  • Cost of ownership: In specific scenarios, where resource utilisation is consistently high and predictable, it’s fair to ask (do the math) if owning will be cheaper over time compared to ongoing subscription fees.

Buying

Each-way bet

Computing may be binary, but hosting is not so much. There’s no rule stating it’s an all-or-nothing affair. Plenty of companies find great success with a balanced hybrid approach. Public-facing systems benefit greatly from cloud-provided content delivery networks, which maintain the all-important public image while the mission-critical data stays under lock and key. Organisations like these leverage the cloud for flexibility and scalability; they maintain security and brand reputation with the company’s jewels locked tightly.

Make a choice

Obviously, you won’t bet the company on a game of ‘eenie-meenie-miney-mo’. But it’s important to note that choosing one or the other is not simply a black-and-white decision. The decision between ownership and subscription comes down to aligning the business’ strategic direction with the most suitable model. This should factor in immediate needs, expected growth, and potential market shifts. Ultimately, the decision will hinge on evaluating the business’ size, growth, IT capabilities, and financial strategy against its operational needs.

  • Will your chosen model scale effectively?
  • How sensitive is your data?
  • Do you have the IT team to manage whichever direction you choose?
  • Do you have the budget for either direction?

Make a choice

The final word

The cloud represents a paradigm shift. The decision between subscription and ownership boils down to your specific needs and priorities. For many, especially businesses with limited upfront capital, subscriptions offer a more budget-friendly option. However, the on-premises model still holds value for niche cases requiring extreme control or customisation. The ideal solution balances cost optimisation, performance, security, and control. Ultimately, the most successful approach might lie in a strategic hybrid approach leveraging the strengths of both models. Just keep your options open.

recon can secure your cloud infrastructure

The cloud decision boils down to whether you’re a renter or a homeowner (of your data, that is). Like any good home needs security, so does your public or private cloud infrastructure. Building your own cyber defences can be like tackling a home renovation – it takes time, tools, and maybe even a crash course in DIY. We offer enterprise-grade security services designed to be less time-consuming and wallet-draining than building an in-house security team.

Our enterprise-grade services include design, deployment, and ongoing management to optimise your security posture efficiently and effectively. Our holistic approach includes project management, an active knowledge base, online resources, detailed documentation, and technology training to ensure your organisation maximises its cyber security investment. 

Visit our Cyber Security Services for more information and to get in touch.

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