“Cloud computing” has become somewhat of a buzzword during recent years. Many individuals and organizations have embraced it, while others remain skeptical. As with most IT considerations, there is no simple solution that works for everyone, but with respect to the cloud, there are a few general scenarios that apply to many.
A simple question may be whether applications are best hosted in the cloud or on-premises. An on-prem deployment will almost certainly require a perpetual software license, in which case you’ll pay for the software (and hardware) once and own it indefinitely. In most cases, you’ll still receive periodic bug fixes and security updates, but you won’t receive feature updates unless you buy the next version of the software. This can be attractive to organizations who don’t want recurring expenses (subscription or hosting) and don’t care about periodic feature updates.
The alternative to a perpetual license is a cloud-based subscription model. This may be attractive because the tools are frequently updated with performance, security, and functionality enhancements, but you will pay a monthly (annual?) fee as long as you use the product.
A third option may be a perpetual license which is hosted in the cloud. You would pay for the license up front but let a cloud service provider (CSP) host it. The hosting fees will be much less than a subscription-based scenario, and you will pay them as long as you use the hosting service, but you won’t have the ongoing cost of the SW subscription. This scenario also relieves the organization of the cost and maintenance of on-prem servers.
Some organizations are concerned about the security or data maintenance of a CSP, but I submit that if you employ a reputable CSP such as Azure™, AWS™, Google™, etc., the disciplines and tools they have in place are safer than even the most diligent on-prem datacenter. They also have the most advanced data redundancy and disaster recovery services available.