While more and more smart and savvy businesses are moving to hosted options for their businesses rather than just sticking to hardware-based solutions that they have to be responsible for, maintain, and upgrade on a regular basis, the fact of the matter is that many of them are struggling with the decision to move forward with a VPN or cloud-based computing options.
Sure, these two distinctly different services share many of the same benefits – number one being their infinitely accessible and amazingly flexible capabilities – but choosing which one to move forward with can be a bit of a headache.
VPN solutions offer you amazing security
This is probably the biggest distinct advantage that VPN solutions have over there cloud-based computing options, which is in no way to suggest that cloud-based options are filled with gigantic gaping security holes that can be exploited at any option. The fact of the matter is that nothing could be further from the truth, though you will still be using the same hardware and server environment as millions of others when you move forward with cloud-based options – something that will never happen when you are setting up on a purely VPN-based solution.
Not only that, but you’ll also be able to enjoy:
- A completely private network, allowing you to connect to remote users, sites, or other applications
- A 100% secure data system for exchanging, uploading, or transmitting information
- The ability to open up your infrastructure (at least specific areas that you give permission for) to other clients or business partners, allowing them to collaborate directly with your information and environment
… Just to name a few.
Cloud-based computing is nothing to sneeze at
If security isn’t your number one concern – or you’re only looking to host a handful of applications or services in the cloud and don’t need a powerhouse system that has been designed and developed from the ground up to act as essentially a gigantic server, then cloud-based computing is probably where you should be looking.
Also offering 100% remote access, cloud-based computing solutions are usually much more narrow-based in their capabilities, almost always exclusive to a single task. This could be project management, information infrastructure, customer relationship management, and a whole host of other tools that your business uses on a daily basis – but never the clean slate, if you will, that a VPN is.
Cloud-based computing solutions are almost always controlled by third-party organizations that handle all of the maintenance, upkeep, and security of the specific service that you’re using. This gives you hands-free (but not worry free) use of the system, knowing that you’re not going to have to spend a considerable amount of time or resources on making sure everything is running exactly as it should. Of course, should there be a hiccup in the system that you’re using you’ll have to wait until it’s been resolved by the third-party, something that can cost you in the long run.
It’s impossible to give a recommendation as to whether or not you should be using a VPN or a cloud-based computing solution, simply because of the best choice most likely lies somewhere in between the two. Of course, your unique situation, budget, technical savvy, resources, and a slew of other criteria will determine exactly which kind of service you should move forward with – just know that each of them brings their own benefits (and detractions) to the table.
All in all, moving towards a remotely accessible system that your business, executives, management, employees, and even in some cases clients and customers can access offers incredible leverage that was never possible until just recently.