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Leveraging the Power of Cloud: Should You Go Public or Private?

Struggling to figure out the difference between public clouds and private clouds?

Both public and private clouds deliver computing resources over the internet (or intranet) to organizations. However, they accomplish this in slightly different ways and at different price points. But which one should you use? Which is the better option? What is the difference between the two? Let’s find out.

What is Public Cloud?

The public cloud is a cloud computing environment that is accessible by many different organizations at the same time.

Its resources, including data and applications, are shared among users – and that could lead to a drop off in performance during busy hours. Most public cloud providers offer a pay-as-you-go model, which may appear to be advantageous to small enterprises but can have hidden costs.

Examples of public cloud providers, such as AWS and Google Cloud Platform, allow organizations to scale their use of resources as and when they need to grow their traffic volume or number of users.

What is Private Cloud?

The private cloud is a deployment model where resources are exclusively available to a single organization or user.

In most cases, cloud infrastructure is usually hosted on the organization’s intranet or the cloud service provider’s own data centers. This provides more freedom to organizations as they can make as many customizations as they need, depending on their needs.

Organizations that use private cloud deployments often prefer the scalability and adaptability that comes along with it. One of the main benefits of the private cloud is that it offers one of the best compliance and security arrangements. Businesses using the private cloud have better control of their data as well as core architecture.

This makes it relatively easy to monitor their data and stay on top of local regulatory and compliance laws. They also have access to more features, such as automation tools, compared to public cloud users.

Things to Consider When Choosing Private or Public Cloud

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at six things to consider when choosing between public or private cloud solutions.


Businesses in the healthcare and fintech space need security because they often deal with financial transfers and personal information. Data safety is paramount in all cases, and businesses rely on services that take security measures seriously while also providing certifications.

In most cases, the private cloud offers a more secure approach to business. Moreover, private clouds can be isolated from the internet if the aim is to reduce the risk of internet-borne attacks.

Although public cloud services can also be hidden behind firewalls, it is not possible to disconnect from the internet entirely. Users on the private cloud also have access to features such as automation and monitoring tools.


Although public clouds generally cost less than private clouds, the total cost of working with private cloud deployment can be lower, especially if the business uses the private cloud for several years. This results in a high ROI for businesses if they use their private cloud deployment for several years.

In comparison, public clouds cost a lot less at first, making them accessible to startups that may not have the budget to invest in private clouds.

Moreover, the cloud service provider is responsible for maintenance, updates, and security. Businesses only have to pay a small subscription fee to take advantage of the services. However, the pay-as-you-go model can lead to fluctuations in expenses, making it harder to predict IT spend.

Regulatory Compliance

To deliver their services, many businesses collect data from their users, such as location, bank information, and personal information. This type of sensitive data is regulated by government and security regulations to prevent their use in malicious activities.

For example, US healthcare organizations must comply with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Retail businesses that collect financial information to process online transactions must comply with PCI DSS standards. This is why organizations need a solution that allows them to comply with regulatory standards in their specific industry.

Data, Server, and Hardware Control

Public cloud users typically have no control over the virtual servers or hardware. You should consider a private cloud if you want more control over your resources. It is possible to customize private servers based on your specific needs and requirements. You can also scale your resources as needed without affecting the quality of your services provided to users.


Although public clouds have the power of economies of scale, they have hundreds of thousands of users that must be serviced simultaneously. This means that performance may suffer or deteriorate during peak hours, affecting the quality of services provided to users.

Private clouds can offer significantly improved performance compared to public clouds since your resources are not shared with other users. This is important for businesses that don’t want to affect their quality of service. Examples of industries that can benefit from private clouds in terms of performance include the gaming and streaming industries.


Both private and public clouds utilize a wide range of technologies to improve their services. This includes an API, a management platform, an operating system, and others. Both models utilize autoscaling, improved redundancy systems, and fault resilience to improve their cloud technologies.

They can also leverage add-on features by using automation and virtualization software. The latter is particularly useful because it enables the optimization of available resources. Automation allows the infrastructure to operate without human intervention. This can improve the overall productivity and efficiency of the cloud – whether it’s public or private.

Choosing Between Private and Public Cloud

Businesses will have to consider the pros and cons of either choice before choosing an option that is ideal for their needs. You will need to consider your business needs and budget before deciding.

For example, a private cloud is the best solution if you require high security and control. This is especially true for businesses operating in an environment with strict regulations, such as the healthcare, insurance, and finance sectors. Performance is another consideration for businesses. If you operate in the gaming or streaming industry, then choosing a private cloud provider may be a better option because no other users will share your resources.

In many ways, a private cloud setup may be better for larger organizations looking for better control, privacy, security, and customization options. Small-scale enterprises may be more inclined to use public clouds because it’s relatively more affordable thanks to the pay-as-you-go model.

Finally, you will have to consider your budget. The private cloud requires a considerable budget, which can be off-putting initially. However, the ROI of private cloud investment means you’ll gain a lot more in the long run. The public cloud can be more cost-effective and puts you on the map more quickly – but you have to be careful which vendors you choose, especially as you research their certifications.

Wrapping Up

There is a large variability in the requirements that businesses have when it comes to cloud computing. The best option for your business depends on several factors, such as your budget, preferences, and needs.

In some cases, a better option could be a hybrid cloud infrastructure that combines private and public models.

Wondering which type of cloud model is ideal for you? Speak to our experts at Craig MacKinder to explore your options and decide what works for you.