It’s time to revisit what UniVista refers to as The Great Debate; is it more advantageous to invest in, manage and maintain your own servers or is your organization better off relying solely on the Cloud?  Well, the definitive answer is… “It Depends.”

How?  Simply put, it all depends on your organization’s specific situation, needs, and budget. Both scenarios have their benefits and drawbacks, so let’s revisit some key considerations.

  • Investing and acquiring your own servers requires greater up-front costs.  Cloud-based systems allow for monthly subscriptions and an ability to spread the expense out over time.  Alternatively, the Cloud cost spread out over years could possibly outweigh the up-front cost of investing in your customer-owned infrastructure.
  • Having and managing your own servers can mean you could have a finite amount of space. If you outgrow your existing server, additional storage or possibly a larger server will need to be acquired and set up. Cloud-based systems can allow for quicker and simpler ease of expansion by increasing space via your subscription but could lead to much higher monthly costs to facilitate.
  • In the event of a server system failure, your IT organization would be required to rectify the problem, whether that’s simply replacing the server or installing updated or required software. You will also have to factor in the expense and downtime necessary to facilitate the installation and setup. On a Cloud system redundancy is possibly built in if the provider has multiple data centers across the country.
  • How reliable and fast is your internet connection? If you’re in a major metropolitan area then the odds are your internet connection is pretty good, so a Cloud-based solution is possibly a viable option.  If location is not an issue or your office has more of a traditional in-office versus remote policy, then managed servers may be a better option for your organization.
  • While the new norm is still a hybrid approach to work in-office vs. work-from-home, a Cloud-based solution may be a convenient option as users can access data from virtually anywhere, provided they have the appropriate credentials. With a server-based solution, users can still access the data but may need to go through additional steps to gain access.


What happens in the event of a disaster?  What if your internet goes down?  What if your power goes out?  These are all important considerations. Cloud vs Server is another aspect of your organization’s Business Continuity Plan. If your internet fails, then you would not have Cloud access but possibly would still have access to your on-site servers.

Ideally, any organization would have a secondary internet solution that would kick in when their primary internet solution fails. For those employees who work from home or off-site regularly, if their internet goes down then they will have neither access to the Cloud nor an organization-based Server, so there is a need for accommodations made for this scenario, as well.   If the organization’s on-site power goes out, then there may be no access to your servers (Note: always have some sort of battery-backed power source to safely shut things down in the event of a power outage).  However, essential employees such as managers or business owners can utilize off-site options to access a Cloud-based solution.  

Is there a single 100% fail-safe solution? No.  Some form of redundancy needs to be designed and factored in to keep things running when disaster strikes.  It comes down to deciding what the cost to benefit of one solution vs. the other is.  In some cases, there is always the third option of utilizing both an on-site server-based system along with a Cloud-based backup solution.  If you would like to learn more about Cloud-based and server-based solutions, read our previous blog “To Cloud or not to Cloud”:  If you have any questions regarding your current infrastructure or establishing a new or updated Business Continuity Plan incorporating a server vs Cloud vs both scenarios, please don’t hesitate to contact your UniVista Account Rep.