The biggest decision is whether to have a cloud based or on premise based server infrastructure. While it may sound like a black-or-white selection, there are many things to consider. The first factor is how important uptime is to your business. Cloud solutions are usually more expensive than in house, but the benefits of being in the cloud can far outweigh the costs for some businesses. For example, an online business that is reliant on web-based transactions will consider uptime an extremely important factor; therefore, they will likely be willing to pay more for a cloud based solution that can guarantee a certain level of uptime. Other businesses not as dependent on uptime may be more suited to an in house set up.

Here are some pros and cons of cloud v. on premise servers.

Pros and Cons of Cloud Servers

No need for onsite hardware or capital expenses. Well suited to rapidly growing companies that may outgrow their infrastructure too quicklyThe user experience is limited by the speed of internet connection.
Easily scalable; can be added to as needed. Solutions are often on-demand, so you only pay for the options you want.Third party cloud services could have the direct access to your data.
Workers can connect from anywhere, using any computer, tablet, or smartphone. Companies can implement BYOD(bring your own device) policies.If the Internet goes down on your side or on your cloud provider's side, you won't have to access to any of your information.
Data can be backed up in the cloud as regularly as 15-minutes intervals, minimizing data losses in disaster situations.The cost can outweigh the benefits for companies not as dependent on uptime.

Pros and Cons of Premise Based Servers

Gives you physical control over your server.Requires a capital investment in hardware and infrastructure.
Keeps critical data in-house; no third party has access to your informationRequires space in your office for rack space or server room/closet, as well as dedicated IT support.
No need to rely on an Internet connection for access to data.May be more susceptible to data loss during disaster situations due to its in-house location. How often you take the data offsite will reflect how much data you'll lose in an emergency.
Can be more cost-effective for companies that are not as concerned about uptime.No uptime guarantees.