On-premise and cloud computing – what is the difference, and what can cloud technology solutions do for you as a power utility?
Cloud-based software entails delivering hosted services via the internet. These services include servers, storage, databases, networking, software and analytics. Premise solutions are installed on a company’s premises servers and behind the firewall. What does this mean concerning the energy transition?
As utilities face the challenge of managing and analyzing increasing amounts of data, many are considering moving to the cloud to solve their data storage and computing needs. Even operational control is becoming possible in the cloud! With so many options on the market, it can take time to know which solution is the best fit for your organization. There is a range of viewpoints on the best approach. To be perfectly transparent, we think that cloud technology is the way of the future for most utilities, but before you dismiss us for our bias, have a read and let’s see if we can convince you:
Perspective 1: Cloud technology solutions are too risky
Critics of this perspective point out that the cloud introduces new security risks, such as the possibility of data breaches or loss of control over data. They may argue that utilities should use traditional in-house solutions to minimize these risks.
- Consideration: While true and possible, this is also the case for on-premise storage. Cloud providers have invested heavily in security measures to protect your data, giving you peace of mind and allowing you to focus on your core business.
Perspective 2: It depends on the specific needs of the utility
The decision to use cloud services should be made on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific needs and priorities of the utility. Data sovereignty, integration with existing systems, and contract terms are factors to consider.
- Consideration: As a utility, we agree that it is important to research to ensure cloud technology will suit your needs carefully. Things to look out for are:
- Integration: It’s vital to ensure that any cloud solution you choose will integrate seamlessly with your existing systems and processes.
- Data sovereignty: If data sovereignty is a concern for your organization, you’ll want to choose a cloud provider with data centers in your region that can meet your specific data sovereignty requirements. There are even hybrid cloud options available.
- Contract terms: Be sure to carefully review the terms of any contract with a cloud provider to ensure that it meets your needs and expectations.
Perspective 3: Cloud technology for operations is just a marketing gimmick.
Finally, some may view the cloud as a marketing gimmick, arguing that utilities should be skeptical of the hype and carefully evaluate cloud services’ actual costs and benefits.
- Consideration: With any new technology, there is bound to be pushback. Cloud technology solutions have been effectively used in adjacent industries for almost two decades, and its effectiveness in delivering at scale reliably and securely was proven in the 2010s. Utilities should take the time to explore before dismissing cloud technology based on this perspective.
Perspective 4: Cloud services are the way of the future.
Advocates of this perspective argue that cloud services offer several benefits over traditional in-house server solutions, including scalability, flexibility, security, and cost savings. They believe utilities should embrace the cloud as the best way to manage their data needs.
- We agree! Cloud services like Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud offer several advantages over traditional in-house server solutions, including:
- Scalability: Cloud services allow you to quickly scale up or down to meet your changing data needs -saving you time and money compared to building and maintaining your infrastructure.
- Flexibility: Cloud services offer a range of options for data storage, computing, and analytics, giving you the flexibility to choose the solution that best meets your needs.
- Security: Cloud providers have invested heavily in security measures to protect your data. This can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your core business.
- Cost savings: By leveraging the economies of scale of a cloud provider, you can often save money compared to building and maintaining your infrastructure. It also facilitates budget planning with steady operational fees, as cloud technology is paid for with subscription fees. It’s important to note that cloud infrastructure costs can be capitalized just like on-premise solutions.
In conclusion, the use of cloud technology solutions and how to move forward with the mass amounts of data utilities have is an important decision. It can be a complex and nuanced topic with valid points made from multiple perspectives, but many cloud vendors have proven solutions and architectures ready for utilities to leverage quickly and efficiently. As a utility, it’s essential to consider all of these viewpoints and carefully weigh the pros and cons of each when making a decision. In an era where data generation is increasing exponentially, cloud technology can serve as an attractive, scalable option to maximize data use and analytics. Leveraging cloud services like Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud can be a powerful way to solve your data storage and computing needs. However, smaller utilities and municipalities may continue operating with on-premise servers. Planning for the optimal outcome and determining what solution best suits your growth and plans is essential.
Awesense can deploy on-premise but is also cloud agnostic and can deploy across any cloud vendor. The Awesense solutions are available on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and IBM Cloud.
If you have questions regarding Awesense solutions and deployment, please do not hesitate to contact us.