On-Premises vs. Cloud Hosting in Government: Making the Right Choice for Case Management Systems
In recent years, the debate around on-premises vs. cloud hosting for government case management systems has gained momentum. With the increasing reliance on digital tools and an increased need for cybersecurity, government offices are faced with a decision on where to store their valuable data. At Spartan Technology Solutions, we’ve observed an industry trend – a noticeable shift towards cloud-hosted services. But what is fueling this change and why are government agencies transitioning to the cloud?
On-Premises Installation: The Traditional Path
Choosing on-premises means that the government office (typically their IT department or contracted IT service) will house the case management system on their own servers. They maintain full control, taking on the responsibility of maintenance, backups, and various administrative tasks. It appears as a tried-and-tested approach, offering a sense of autonomy and direct oversight of the system and data.
Full Control: With on-premises hosting, government offices have direct control over their servers. They can choose the hardware, software, and tailor security protocols to their specific requirements.
Data Sovereignty: All data remains in-house, reducing concerns related to data location and ensuring compliance with local regulations.
Direct Access: Quick and direct access to the servers, allowing for faster troubleshooting and server maintenance.
High Upfront Costs: The initial investment in infrastructure, including servers, backup systems, and other equipment, can be substantial.
Maintenance & Scalability: Regular maintenance, backups, updates, and scaling require dedicated IT personnel and additional resources.
Potential Downtime: Any maintenance or unforeseen issues could lead to system downtimes, affecting the daily operations of the government office.
Liability: The responsibility of maintaining this data can leave agencies vulnerable to litigation should a security breach occur.
Cloud Hosting: The Trend
The innovation of cloud-hosted solutions, such as HostedbySpartan, leverage powerful platforms like the AWS GovCloud, marking a significant milestone in the niche of case management system providers. With the cloud, rather than being limited to local physical servers and infrastructure, the case management system resides on secure, cloud-based servers, where a hosting provider takes care of maintenance, backups, and other essential tasks.
Cost-Effective: With a subscription to cloud hosting, government offices can shift from a capital expenditure model to an operational expenditure model, with predictable monthly/annual costs and no hefty upfront investment.
High Availability: Cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS) GovCloud provide robust backup and disaster recovery solutions, ensuring data integrity and minimizing downtime.
Scalability: As the needs of government offices grow, scaling systems become seamless, without the need for major overhauls or additional hardware purchases.
Enhanced Security: GovCloud adheres to many federal compliance standards, ensuring data security at the highest levels. The constant updates and security patches keep the system secure from evolving threats.
Reduced IT Burden: The responsibility of maintenance, backups, and updates lies with the hosting provider, allowing the local IT staff to focus on other strategic areas.
Data Control: While the data is secure, the physical control resides with the hosting provider.
Internet Dependency: Accessing a cloud-based system requires a stable internet connection.
Why are Government Offices Making the Shift?
The shift towards hosted solutions is not coincidental. Here’s why many are embracing this change:
Reduced Burden on IT Resources: With hosting providers like HostedbySpartan taking charge of maintenance and backups, government offices find their IT teams free to focus on more strategic, mission-critical tasks.
Enhanced Security and Compliance: Hosted solutions in the GovCloud offer an enhanced level of security and compliance, ensuring that sensitive data is safeguarded according to the highest industry standards.
Cost-Efficiency: The financial aspect cannot be overlooked. A hosted solution saves government offices from significant capital expenditure involved in setting up and maintaining physical servers and infrastructure.
Scalability and Flexibility: Hosted solutions provide the agility to scale the systems as per the evolving needs of the office, ensuring that the technology keeps pace with growth and changing demands.
Growing Data: Lastly, data is growing. Case Management Systems are growing with more advanced functionality, more data fields, and more evidence being submitted by law enforcement. It is not uncommon for average sized offices to store 50 to 100 terabytes of data within their case management system.
While on-premises solutions offer a sense of control and direct access, the challenges associated with maintenance, scalability, and potential downtime are hard to overlook. Cloud hosting solutions like HostedbySpartan, provide a robust, secure, and cost-effective alternative. With the majority of new clients opting for hosted solutions, the trend is evident.