The ability to offer specific services for telepresence and storage of private data could be the winning card that the providers of on-premise server based web conferencing solutions will play to win the game against cloud based solutions.
According to Frost & Sullivan’s latest report, the shift to clouds has been accelerating in 2016 which will lead to a slowdown in on-premise web-conferencing market next years. Will the prediction come true?
In 2014, on-premise video conferencing market held the largest share in terms of revenue (around 74%) and, undoubtedly, this share will decrease next years. However, according to a recent report of Transparency Market Research, even in the most pessimistic scenario servers will be still able to generate over 53% of revenues in 2023. Therefore, on-premise servers seem to be destined to retain their market leadership, despite the growth of clouds.
It is not a case that big firms like Cisco still have on-premise server based web conferencing solutions in their product lists, and providers of conferencing services that have massively bet on on-premise technology like R-HUB (http://www.rhubcom.com) are thriving. R-HUB`s suite TurboMeeting in particular is a great example of an on-premise server based product that is competitive in terms of price and performances.
Considering that TurboMeeting costs only around 1000-1400$ on average, we cannot but reject the common reasoning that customers are massively shifting to clouds because of budget considerations. Simply, the importance of this trend has been exaggerated. Like every new technology, clouds have their moment of glory now; but saying that on-premise server predominance is going to be undermined is against any evidence.
Why is on-premise technology still holding the line? The reasons behind on-premise servers endurance are essentially two: telepresence and security. Telepresence, the new mantra of web conferencing, assures clients an immersive experience during video conferences. Technically speaking, clouds are not the best solution for it; consider, for example, latency: audio and video requires low and predictable latency times, which makes it easier to manage and distribute video and audio data in systems where the network can be controlled end-to-end. But this is not possible when a company opts for a cloud.
Security is an old issue of any solution that utilizes a common space to store data. Clouds can be as safe as possible, but internet connections are always at risk of being hacked, no matter how many measures are taken in order to protect them. Then, some specific kinds of data require more advanced security than what clouds are able to offer. In these cases, it is necessary to maintain the traditional, but sure, on-premise server based technology.
Two further good reasons to keep away from clouds are:
- Government regulations: It happens when your data are regarded as sensitive and have to be stored in compliance with specific rules and standards.
- Accessibility: Some countries restrict access to internet. When there is no government on the way, it is the lack of adequate bandwidth that can create issues.
In conclusion, it is too early to say that clouds are going to outperform on-premise servers in the future. A coexistence of these two systems is more probable, as they have both their pros and cons and in some cases they are complementary.