On-Premise vs Cloud Business Solutions for Dental Practices

In the mid-1950s, the ring flash and through-the-lens flash metering were developed, which finally allowed dentists to take photographs of the inside of a patient’s mouth. This was a huge development, allowing the dentist to study a patient’s teeth and locate any dental issues.

The biggest problem? Sending the patient home, sending the film to the developing department, and waiting for results. Then, you’d hope the photo was clear enough to view any problem areas, call the patient to come back in and — if he came — proceed with the necessary dental work.

Rather a laborious process that used too much time and too many people. Inefficient.

And as photo technology changed, the staff of developers had to keep on top of it, reducing the time they spent on developing the films you needed.

It’s rather similar to today’s choice of on-premise vs cloud technology infrastructure for your dental practice. The old way — exterior photos of the cavernous mouth — is no match for today’s far-advanced intra-oral cameras.

On-Premise vs Cloud Tech for Dental Practices

When you have your IT infrastructure on premises, your IT staff pours time and labor into managing your servers, hardware, routers, switches, and other on-premise IT needs. And while you’re happy with what they do, you worry about the time suck. After all, your other staff still needs tech help, has questions, and the IT folks themselves need time to keep up with tech advances. But you guess it’s all OK because, after all, all the stuff’s on site, you can keep an eye on it, and your staff can address any problems.

But can they really?

What if you have multiple practice locations and an IT team of one? Can he or she coordinate access to patient records, scheduling, practice notes and more from all locations? Even if you have an IT staff of a few knowledgeable people, can they do it all? Or, if you’re filling roles of dentist and IT specialist, how’s it going? Are you pulling out more of your hair fixing networking issues than you are extracting teeth?

The Complete Cloud™ transforms how you connect to an IT network, just as intra-oral cameras changed the quality of dental photography. And, it’s far more cost-effective than the on-premise alternative. With The Purple Guys’s The Complete Cloud™, you can stop investing in expensive software and hardware, virtually eliminate licensing and renewal costs, and pay only for what you use. Plus, you’ll save on people-power while The Purple Guys, as your cloud provider, does the hard labor.

Is Your On-Premise IT Meeting Patient Needs?

Let’s say you’re an IT-savvy dentist and set up your own network. Or your single IT guy did. You’re proud of it, and like having all the hardware where you can see it — whether it’s in a server room or shoved in a dusty closet full of tangled wires — even though that room could be transformed into a new patient room, adding to your billable time. You feel confident knowing your network infrastructure is always within reach.

However, while you may be comfortable with your on-premise vs cloud infrastructure, are your patients and employees? These people are your bottom line, and unless your business has a deathwish, you want to use communications technologies that are friendly to their needs, preferences, and lifestyles. And that means instant access from anywhere and any device. Whether it’s patients who want to book an appointment, ask you a question, or pay your bill, or staff that want to check their vacation time, see their schedule, or read the latest communique from you, they want to do it their way, easily.

Making the Case for Cloud Infrastructure for Dental Practices

Just as lasers and 3-D ultrasound have pushed out dental drills and X-rays in many practices, the technology behind dentistry is making the case for on-premise IT more difficult. When you consider the time you and/or your IT staff spend to keep up instead of focusing on the dental practice itself, it becomes clearer that the choice between on-premise vs cloud solutions is really no choice at all — especially if your cloud provider is experienced in the vast needs of a dental practice like The Purple Guys is. After all, that’s why The Purple Guys came up with The Complete Cloud™ — to keep your practice running like a well-oiled machine.

Know When to Hold ‘Em, Know When to Fold ‘Em — and Save Money

You don’t have to take a baseball bat to your server room, a la office space, just yet. Start by simply getting to know The Complete Cloud™ and how it supports the goals of your dental practice. Here’s an at-a-glance view of how on-premise infrastructure vs The Complete Cloud™ infrastructure stack up across critical areas:

On-Premise IT Cloud Solutions
Infrastructure You’ll need at least one server, hardware, software, plus components for data backups, storage, disaster recovery, and remote access and network connectivity You’ll need a solid Internet connection. Being on The Complete Cloud™ means you have everything you need — including all your applications, imaging, practice management, scheduling, and notes — but with far fewer complications on your server
Software You’ll pay the initial purchase price, license fees and annual maintenance costs and subscription renewals; you’ll often pay extra for in-depth customization and integration One monthly payment provides hosted infrastructure, support, backups, upgrades, and custom configuration — no licensing fees required
Maintenance & Upgrades Software upgrades every 1-2 years, and full equipment replacements every 5 years, performed by on-premise IT staff Offsite monitoring and maintenance, automatic upgrades and patching, and business process consulting as needed, at no additional charge
Security & Compliance Data stored and handled internally. Company must provide and manage perimeter security, employee access controls, compliance, attack monitoring, data backups, and more Store your data in certified, HIPAA-compliant data centers and protect your clients with multi-site backup & replication, virtual threat detection, physical data center protection, multi-level, military-grade encryption, live-to-the-second backup, and automatic redundancy & failover
User Interface Most often a Windows interface supported by aging technology Intuitive, customizable, user-friendly interface supported by current web technology
Cost Significant capital expenses for hardware and software Operational expenses via a flexible subscription model

Myth Busters: On-Premise IT Security Edition

It’s wise to be cautious with your business infrastructure and critical data. But don’t confuse the word “on-premise” with the words safe, reliable, redundant, efficient, or even accessible. Just because you feel more secure being able to see and touch your servers, doesn’t mean you truly are.

Myth: On-premise infrastructure is more secure than the Cloud because it’s on-site.

Fact: Most security breaches are inside jobs. Your system may actually be less secure because it’s on-site, where a vindictive employee can physically access data within your own firewalls. The Purple Guys’s data centers have multiple, stringent safeguards and alerts in place 24/7/365.

Myth: I can’t protect my servers from viruses if they’re not within reach.

Fact: The Purple Guys can give you the most thorough virus monitoring and response possible with up-to-date virus signatures, security patches, DDoS, and emerging threat protection. And you don’t have to lift a finger.

Myth: I’m not in control of my data with the Cloud.

Fact: You have lots of options when it comes to data storage and access in the Cloud. With data-at-rest and in-transit encryption methods, even The Purple Guys can’t access sensitive information. And if you’re concerned about where your data resides, The Purple Guys operates four enterprise-grade data centers across the U.S. to deliver high performance and advanced data protection to our users. You enjoy a speedy connection to your primary data center location, and live backup to your secondary locations, so your data is never lost.

Bottom line: The physical location of your data matters less than how it is handled and accessed.

P.S. Your Enterprise Already Relies on the Cloud

Consider how many of your core practice activities are already in the Cloud. Do you use a cloud-based customer relationship management or supply chain management system? Maybe your accounting department uses Quickbooks Online. Marketing analytics, email servers, conferencing tools, document collaboration: these may very well all be in the Cloud right now.

Our primary goal at The Purple Guys is to enhance the success of your dental practice, whether you have one or hundreds of locations. And, we’ll work with you each step of the way. We get to know you, your needs and goals. So, when you call us, it’s not like calling the big public cloud providers — AWS, Azure, or Google — where one day you get one support person and the next day another who then has to relearn all that’s gone on and get up-to-speed on your architecture and needs.

Running and scaling your practice is cheaper and easier in the Complete Cloud™! The Purple Guys can have your cloud solutions up and running within two to four days. This minimizes disruptions, will lower your costs, and really secure your data.

Lose the hassle of on-premise IT and save money with The Complete Cloud™.

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