Cloud computing has transformed the way we work and is deeply ingrained into our daily lives, sometimes without our realization. And given its many advantages, implementation is on the rise, with more and more organizations jumping on board. Recent predictions from Gartner state that cloud spending will likely surpass $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020.

But organizations looking to buy into the cloud have a difficult decision to make: Should they go for the public cloud, the private cloud, or the hybrid cloud? To simplify the process of identifying your ideal fit, we’ve broken down the key differences between all 3 types and their pros and cons.

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud: Which Type is Right for Me?

Inside: "Cloud Types Explained: What is the Difference Between Private, Public, and Hybrid Clouds?"

  1. The Public Cloud
  2. The Private Cloud
  3. The Hybrid Cloud

What is the Public Cloud?

The public cloud is owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider who hosts, manages, and maintains the network for you. Examples of providers are AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google. With this cloud type, you don’t have to own and operate the hardware, instead renting it and paying only for the services you use. You can then access your information through the internet using a web browser. Public clouds are also multi-tenant, which means you share the main infrastructure with other users, but your data is stored separately in an isolated location.

Why Use the Public Cloud

You may consider the public cloud if your organization is dealing with computer requirements that are predictable, like communication services for a set number of people. Additionally, if you can anticipate the need for additional resources due to predictable fluctuations in demand, the public cloud’s excellent scalability may be appealing to you.

The public cloud can also be a good fit for software development. If the software you’re developing is in the public cloud, the testing stage can be smoother. This is because the public cloud allows you to offer more resources. You can even have it tested at multiple locations, allowing you all the advantages of global availability.

The Benefits of the Public Cloud

Low Fixed Cost. Since the public cloud doesn’t require hardware or software resources, you can attain it at very affordable rates.
Low Maintenance. With public cloud, you won’t have to worry about hardware or software upgrades or maintenance because your cloud provider will take care of all of it.
Reliability and Scalability Data centers exist across the world, and each one champions top grade failover measures, making them more reliable than on-premises infrastructure. They also feature excellent disaster recovery. And since public cloud-hosted information exists on the internet, scalability is easy and infinite. You can scale your cloud resources up or down to any extent you need at any time.

The Disadvantages of the Public Cloud

Decreased Security. The public cloud may not be ideal for sensitive workloads that need high security and privacy. Although your data is stored in isolation from other users’, it is possible, albeit rare, for 3rd party hackers to access it.
Decreased Visibility and Control. Since your cloud provider maintains all your resources, you get very little to no visibility or control over them.

What is the Private Cloud?

Private cloud solutions are dedicated to a single organization and customizable to meet your organization’s unique security and business needs. With this type of cloud solution, computing resources are delivered across a secure, private network not shared with any other customer. As a result, only those who belong to your organization who own the network can access your data.

Private cloud service providers also offer a wide variety of maintenance services. For example, the private cloud provider, the Hyland Cloud, uses a managed services approach. In doing so, customers have access to a team of dedicated experts who provide services like:

  • 99.99% uptime and availability
  • Proactive solution monitoring
  • Regular software and hardware procurement, upgrades, and patches
  • 24/7 support
  • Advanced disaster recovery protocols with industry-leading recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives
  • Close expert monitoring for their systems, regular software upgrades and patches, and hardware and software procurement

Why Use the Private Cloud?

If you want to invest in technology that’s high in security, performance, and availability, the private cloud is your best bet. But it’s especially suitable for industries and government institutions that face stringent regulations or generally handle sensitive information. It can also be a great fit for you if you want a high degree of control and top security over your IT workloads and infrastructure.

The Benefits of the Private Cloud

  • Maximum Security. Because you get complete control over your private network, the private cloud offers maximum security that prevents unauthorized activities from occurring. The private cloud is hosted in data centers across the globe which are subject to routine audits and security testing.
  • High Compliance. The private cloud adheres to all leading compliance and security standards, like SOC 2, PCI DSS, ISO 27001, NIST 800-53, and more.
  • Enhanced Scalability & Flexibility. Like the public cloud, the private cloud is very scalable. As your needs change, you can add more resources easily. The infrastructure being under your control can be upgraded as demands change and markets and technology evolve.
  • Greater Visibility. With the private cloud, you get better visibility and control into your infrastructure

The Disadvantages of the Private Cloud

  • Global Access Challenges. In some cases, quick access to the cloud from a global scale can be more challenging due to stringent security and control over the network.
  • Can Be More Expensive. Capital expenditure in purchasing and managing your resources can be high, especially in the short term

Everything You Need to Know About Hyland's Cloud Platform

Wondering how the Hyland Cloud can help your organization better support your users and meet stringent security, disaster recovery, business continuity, and compliance needs? Watch this 30-minute on-demand video to find out.

Watch Now On-Demand

What is the Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud combines a private and public cloud, which work together in sharing data and applications as needed. With this type of cloud solution comes a great deal of flexibility in the areas of deployment options, security, and more.

Why Use the Hybrid Cloud?

The hybrid cloud may be a fitting option for you if you serve a wide variety of industries, given its flexibility. This setup also allows you to get the best of both worlds in terms of benefits between the two types. You may also want to use the hybrid cloud if you want to improve the security of your existing cloud solutions. For example, if you have SaaS services that must operate over secure private networks, the hybrid cloud can support this.

The Benefits of the Hybrid Cloud

  • Specialized Security Advantages. The hybrid cloud offers a hybrid approach to security. You can use the private cloud for your confidential workflows and the public cloud for more non-sensitive workflows.
  • Reliability. You can replicate applications, services, and data at multiple locations on the public cloud in the event of failure.
  • Flexibility. The hybrid cloud allows you to shift the workload to the public cloud as demand increases, allowing the private cloud to avoid taking on hectic workloads

The Disadvantages of the Hybrid Cloud

  • Complex Infrastructure. Integrating the public and private clouds can be a complex setup. As a result, management efforts can become complex and it may require a great deal of maintenance.
  • High Costs. The cost of setting up and maintaining the infrastructure of both types of cloud solutions simultaneously can be expensive.

What’s Our Take?

At Naviant, we recently moved to the cloud ourselves, opting for a hybrid model. We use AWS for our public cloud solution, as well as the Hyland Cloud as our private cloud solution. Together, these solutions deliver all the benefits explored above and expertly accomplish what we need them to. Watch the 3-minute video below to learn more about why we made the switch.

3-Minute Video: Our Story & The Results of Switching to the Cloud
3-Minute Video: Our Story & The Results of Switching to the Cloud

At Naviant, we recently moved to the cloud. Hear from our President & CEO on why we shifted to a cloud-first strategy and the benefits we’ve gained.

Watch Now

Don’t wait to experience the benefits that cloud can bring. The sooner you select and embrace your ideal type of cloud solution, the sooner you can enjoy the productivity, savings, and general peace of mind that awaits you.

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About Kara

As a Naviant Content Writer since 2019, Kara is passionate about helping organizations unleash the power of technology to solve their business challenges. In her weekly articles, Kara breaks down the latest research, trends, and tips in the digital transformation world, specializing in intelligent automation, the cloud, AP & HR automation, artificial intelligence, change management, and more. She is also a Copywriter for the American Marketing Association-Madison, where she contributes bimonthly articles that interview industry experts and highlight the latest marketing trends. When she’s not writing, Kara is working on her latest art project, scoping out new music, or out for a run.