Is On-prem Dead? Why the Cloud is Heading to the Stratosphere

Nick Orlowski
August 26, 2022
Min Read
Is On-prem Dead? Why the Cloud is Heading to the Stratosphere

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This article was written by Nick Orlowski, Associate Principal, located in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Nick has over nine years of experience designing technology in built environments across the US, Canada, and EMEA. Drawing on experience from a number of different sectors, he has the key skills to ensure designs exceed client expectations and achieve the highest levels of technical excellence.

Over the last twenty years, the ways in which companies purchase, operate, and manage their core IT infrastructure have changed significantly. It is evident that the scope and scale of core IT infrastructures is only headed one way - up.

Looking back, even just briefly in time, you can see how things have changed for companies when it comes to managing their own IT system.

The traditional strategy has been clear: buy it, install it, manage it, and replace it when a new system is needed. All being done in the basement of the office building – on premises (on-prem).

When IT infrastructure is managed on-prem, office functions rely on pushing and pulling information from the local area network (LAN) to a local machine, sometimes venturing off to grab some files via file transfer process/protocol (FTP) amongst the email traffic and phone calls. 

Over the past decade, new tools have emerged to help us work remotely. Laptops became more powerful and lighter and Wi-Fi is now faster and more pervasive. Yet, when using on-prem infrastructures, companies are still tied to their nice, safe, four-walled IT rooms, with the firewall ringfence keeping harm at bay. 

Recently, some companies have begun to see the potential of shifting services off their own in-house infrastructure and onto someone else’s - diminishing capital outlay, real estate space, and management costs. However, the problem was habitual - crowds of workers descending on city centres to carry out their daily tasks.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic kickstarted the idea of how and where we carry out our work. The migration to remote work changed how we interact with others and shattered the four walls of the office. Workforces dispersed from the commuter belt, the geographical talent pool widened, and the global office became a reality. The logic of a centralised hub no longer made sense and companies realised, including TEECOM, that there was another way to run their IT – the cloud

With a new remote and global workforce, on-prem IT infrastructures are inconvenient - they are less secure, less flexible, more costly, and run a greater risk for error. In certain industries, such as the government and financial sectors, close control of company information is tricky to relinquish to the public cloud. The consequences and legal requirements are significant, as seen with the Home Secretary of the UK getting into hot water for signing contracts that potentially store classified information on Amazon Web Servers (AWS) servers outside the country.

These sectors aside, this demise in the on-prem model has led to an increase in activity outside of typically gated company network rooms. Adding to this, CISCO is predicting that the growth in streaming services, online gaming, and video-based social media applications will occupy 82% of internet traffic in 2022. We are definitely going to need bigger data centres, as even the big players in the market are scrambling to keep up with the ever-rising demand.

Graphic of a list. Title states: Forecasted Data Centre Plans. Bulleted list with blue blocks behind text. First bullet states: AWS is set to build 1000 data centers, investing 1.8 billion pounds in the UK over the next two years. Second bullet states: Microsoft is estimated to build 50-100 data centres each year for the foreseeable future. Third bullet states: Meta plans to invest 29-34 billion pounds in data centres each year for the foreseeable future. Fourth bullet states: Google is making a 9.5 billion pound investment in US data centres in 2022.

As a technology consulting firm with Mission Critical experience both in the United Kingdom and the United States, TEECOM is perfectly placed to handle migration from on-prem to cloud-based infrastructures. Let us know how we can help your company by filling out the contact form at the bottom of the page!