On-premises vs Cloud Communications: A Public Sector Perspective

public sector worker sitting at his desk using legacy on-premises hardware

For years, public service companies have relied almost exclusively on the convenience and security of on-premises solutions for their communication strategies. After all, on-premises solutions allowed companies to keep sensitive information “in the office,” which was crucial for many highly regulated companies. However, the on-premises environment is quickly becoming too outdated for modern companies. In today’s digital society, we’re seeing businesses from all backgrounds moving towards the benefits of the cloud at an incredible pace. 

According to Gartner, cloud services and solutions are becoming a priority among government organisations in search of new opportunities for growth and efficiency. Spending in this environment is likely to continue increasing in the years to come, driven by a new demand for flexibility, scalability and future-proof technology. 

Here’s what you need to know about the difference between on-premises and cloud solutions for communications in the public sector. 

The problems with the on-premises environment

For decades, companies in the public sector have taken the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to their communications stack. They’ve stuck to the same legacy technology year after year, assuming they can continue to get by with on-premises tools that give them complete control over their security and privacy standards. However, as the safety of cloud-based solutions has improved, on-premises communication tools are just holding public sector companies back from reaching their full potential. 

While on-premises environments might seem more affordable at first, particularly if you’ve already made a lot of major investments into your tech stack, they become more expensive when you factor in the costs of licensing, hardware and rising maintenance fees. Additionally, on-premises solutions risk reliance on multiple communication vendors working together to deliver different platforms for video, voice and instant messaging. With an on-premises communication space, companies:

  • Deal with endless expensive upgrades and hardware maintenance costs
  • Struggle to cope with changes in peak volume and demand
  • Suffer from expensive systems outages with unplanned downtime.

Sometimes, a failure to invest in the cloud can even reduce the confidence that customers feel in your service as a public sector company.

Restructuring a nation through technology: How UK businesses are facing a post-pandemic future Read the report

The benefits of moving to the cloud

Alternatively, cloud communications give businesses in the public sector the opportunity to move into a flexible environment for a relatively low cost. These future-proof solutions mean businesses of any shape or size can expand and evolve their communication stack with new features and functionality whenever they see fit. The cloud offers access to omni-channel platforms where you can aggregate and integrate all of your communication tools into a single platform. This means reduced costs and simplified licensing agreements. 

Additionally, in the cloud you get the flexibility of an environment that can scale up or down to suit the changing demands of your workforce and your customers. Leading cloud communications providers offer financially-guaranteed uptime of 99.999% for constant peace of mind, and a service fee that includes all the maintenance and software releases your system will ever need. 

The low-cost and high-performance nature of the cloud means businesses can prepare themselves for the future while opening up opportunities for future growth. Migrating to a managed platform means your IT team will be freed up to work on other projects because they don’t have to spend as much time maintaining your communications stack. Because you’re saving money on your total cost of ownership (TCO), you have more cash to invest in other growth opportunities. 

From enhanced analytics capabilities to new opportunities to support remote and flexible workers, the cloud offers endless opportunities for business growth and development. For evolving public sector brands, the cloud is the obvious way forward. 

Restructuring a nation through technology: How UK businesses are facing a post-pandemic future
Ashima Bhatt

Author

    Ashima Bhatt is an EMEA Product Marketing & GTM Manager for RingCentral, the leader in cloud communication and cloud contact centre technologies. Ashima is responsible for driving a comprehensive product marketing playbook built around foundational go-to-market pillars; strategic messaging, content & programme development, events/webinars, digital presence and content assets. She is a passionate cloud storyteller who is focussed on helping customers realise the business benefits of cloud adoption. Ashima currently lives in Dublin, Ireland, and in her free time she enjoys ski trips to mountain towns and road trips into the Irish countryside.