Yesterday CMSWire published an article I recently wrote for them that you can find here: The Value and Future of SharePoint On-Premises. In this article I wanted to address the a topic that I feel gets confused quite a bit with customers these days.
All the marketing message from Microsoft these days is about the cloud, specifically Office 365. The marketing push makes you think the cloud is where you should move to. This is certainly a good thing for Microsoft, but the reality is that (1) it doesn't make sense for every customer & (2) Office 365 is certainly not ready for every customer to move over to it.
In the article I address a few things customers should consider before they go to a hosted/cloud based solution for Office 365. I've already had an email dialog with a few people since the article was published asking me to clarify as well as assuming what I mean by a hosted SharePoint deployment vs. on-premises. Let me be clear is that I'm using both words at their explicit meaning. Hosted & Cloud are Office 365 or an environment where you simply use and configure SharePoint… someone else handles everything hardware, licensing and performance for you and some things are not available to you (like farm solutions). On-Premises is when you own the servers and you are responsible for the backup/restore, performance, licensing but also have full control over everything.
There is a between space to be filled by the folks at places like Rackspace & FPWeb. Sometimes you see these services pitched as "hosted SharePoint" but to me that stretches the term a bit isn't what SharePoint customers think of when they think hosted. To me, these are more about managed services and offering some sort of the best of both hosted & on-premises deployments.
At any rate, have a read and feel free to drop me a comment here or on the article!