Cloud repatriation: What’s behind the return to on-premises?

September 06 2023

Cloud repatriation is on the rise as more businesses learn the benefits of cloud to on-premises migration. Is cloud repatriation right for you?

Over the last ten years, the cloud has been touted as a game-changer. But, like magpies, have we all jumped on the “shiny object syndrome” bandwagon? Spending on public cloud services continues to show strong growth, with Gartner forecasting that by the end of 2023, worldwide end user spending on public cloud services will total nearly $600 billion. But plenty of businesses are also re-evaluating whether the cloud really is the best deployment method for their business.  

The truth is that the cloud has never been a panacea for all businesses. As a result, cloud repatriation — the process of moving away from cloud computing towards an on-premises approach — is now gaining traction. In fact, a 2021 study by 451 Research found that 48% of respondents have moved away from the cloud, back to an on-prem or colocation infrastructure.   

What’s key is finding the right blend of optimized infrastructure that works for your company’s unique requirements. And, spoiler: A cloud-based model isn’t always the answer.  In this blog post, we’ll explore three (good) reasons some organizations are moving back on-premises — and how Cisco AppDynamics can help you achieve end-to-end visibility, no matter the best home for your applications.  

Why cloud repatriation is gaining momentum  

Cloud infrastructure isn’t always the best solution for every business, even though as the “newer” approach it’s often seen as synonymous with “better.” Some of the reasons companies are considering cloud repatriation include: 

  • Security concerns 
  • Compliance requirements  
  • Cost 

Security concerns 

For some companies, security is a significant driver in repatriating their data, with one survey finding that 54% of respondents were concerned about the security of the public cloud.  While regulations like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can be met using cloud providers offering specific services, public concern that their privacy may be compromised is growing. And specific sectors — like government and healthcare may find that on-prem makes more sense due to strict security needs. An open letter to the Congress Committee on Energy and Commerce, written by six different organizations, including the American Medical Association and the Federation of American Hospitals, highlighted concerns that policies were needed to avoid disclosure of patient data to third parties. 

Compliance requirements  

Storing data in a different country can lead to legal and regulatory challenges for businesses because the data becomes subject to laws and regulations of the country it’s stored in, not the country of origin. Strict data control laws — including the European Union’s GDPR, which stipulates that data from EU citizens must be stored within the EU — also sometimes lead organizations back to on-prem. Often, it makes more sense to bring data on-prem, where it’s easier to control how it’s stored and who can access it. 

Some regulations that can impact the decision to repatriate data include: 

  • General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 
  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) 
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) 
  • Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) 


For startups and SMBs, cloud services are an economical choice that helps them scale quickly, without specialist IT staff or expensive infrastructure. But as businesses grow, so do the costs of cloud services. In these scenarios, bringing infrastructure in-house can sometimes result in significant cost savings. One well-known example is Dropbox, with the business reporting savings of almost $75 million when it moved most of its workloads away from the public cloud, onto its own custom-designed infrastructure. Repatriating the majority of your data is an option, but so is adopting a hybrid environment. 

Cisco AppDynamics: Meeting you where you’re at 

While the cloud is often trumpeted as the ideal choice for today’s business needs — not every business has the same needs. Cloud is not a silver bullet for every business model. And some businesses lured to the cloud with the promise of cost savings and scalability are finding the cloud isn’t all blue skies and sunshine. Migrating to the cloud is the best choice for many companies — but in certain circumstances, on-premises is the better option. As companies reevaluate whether the cloud is meeting their needs — and helping them strengthen security, ensure compliance and reduce costs — there’s a resurgence of on-premises environments.  

Rather than letting the latest trend dictate your infrastructure approach, it’s more effective to create a tailored solution that addresses your organization’s unique needs and concerns. And with multiple platform options, Cisco AppDynamics can help you achieve just that. Whether hosting applications on-prem or in the cloud, Cisco AppDynamics APM allows you to visualize your application environment at a glance — so you can deliver the high-performing digital experience that today’s consumers demand. 

Achieve the visibility you need, no matter the infrastructure  

Whether you’re hosting applications on-prem or in the cloud, Cisco AppDynamics has you covered. Schedule a call with an expert to see how your business can benefit.  

Thank you! Your submission has been received!

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form