The On-Premise Value in the Age of the Cloud

Matt Torman
Should some of your solutions and data remain on-premise?

The cloud is here to stay, to be sure. The plummeting cost of implementing software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions – as storage, functionality, and bandwidth options are cheaper and much more available – make widespread adoption a no-brainer. In fact, Forrester Research estimates that the cloud market will top $191 billion (!) by 2020.

We here at Cleo are fans of cloud computing and SaaS services, and fully support their business benefits. Cleo actually powers some of the world’s largest cloud-based businesses with a single-platform secure data integration solution. But employees using consumer-grade cloud services to facilitate critical file sharing can undermine an organization’s efforts to mitigate risk and maintain control of its key data.

There will always be risks with data anywhere, but control, security, and regulatory compliance are three factors driving an on-premise file-sharing implementation instead of a cloud-based one for companies that need file sharing capabilities but with appropriate data governance, security, and control. This makes a solid argument for maintaining at least some of your solutions and data on-premise, even though some tend to disagree.

Some on-premise advantages:


  • Behind your firewall: You use your organization’s servers – no one else’s – so you don’t have to rely on their security or worry about the file size limitations. (Cloud providers often implement size restrictions to control storage/bandwidth on their servers.)
  • Avoid third-party data centers: You own the encryption keys to data within your on-premise solution, which allows complete control over how, when, and where files are stored and shared.
  • Court orders: In the event of a subpoena that may have nothing to do with you or your business, a cloud provider that stores the data and also manages the encryption keys must turn that data over to law enforcement. How many eyes do you want on your key business information?


  • Safekeeping: Highly sensitive or proprietary data, the kind you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands, is best suited for internal hosting.
  • Keep breaches at bay: Data in a public cloud increases exposure to exponentially more vulnerabilities. Keep your organization’s existing IT security intact while granting users easy access to the adequately protected data.
  • But what if? How many major breaches do you recall in the last year? If your data cloud suffers a breach, the probe into its causes and widespread effects takes time (often months), which means you may not regain access to it until the investigation concludes.
  • Recoverability: On-premise storage provides great flexibility with data protection and recoverability, so protection requirements and disaster recovery become much easier to configure.


  • Location: Depending on where the data is physically stored (where the cloud servers live), it may fall under varying regulations and greatly complicate compliance mandates.
  • Audits: IT can easily prove compliance when going through an audit.

Additionally, one huge on-premise benefit of secure file sharing software is the human-to-system integration it can provide (think incompatible HR systems!). New technology, especially in the cloud, blurs the lines between traditional data integration and human interaction, but Cleo’s heritage in secure, data-moving technologies enables this secure, consolidated data integration that keeps control in IT’s hands.

Although employees are not purposely trying to be malicious, the potential loss of financial information, HR information, intellectual property, and other sensitive data can cripple a company. In some cases, it can result in fines and sanctions if the data has regulatory implications. If you don’t give them an IT-approved tool, they’ll go find their own.

A single on-premises file-sharing solution is easy enough for every department in your organization and secure enough for your IT personnel to sleep at night.

Forrester Research also states that while cloud will become an increasingly large part of the technology market, it will not take it over. Do your due diligence and determine whether a cloud, on-premise, or hybrid cloud strategy is right for you.

In the meantime, check out how an easy-to-use, on-premise file-sharing solution protects organizations of all sizes.


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