For months, analysts and armchair pundits have been quick to declare the long, slow demise of the private cloud. But according to recent reports, such declarations are nothing more than unfounded speculation. As long as the market continues to grow, an offering cannot die – and this is certainly the case with the private cloud.

IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Cloud IT Infrastructure Tracker” forecasts that investment in the private cloud will be nearly as brisk as investment in the public cloud. The public cloud space is expected to increase more than nine percent over the next three years (from 23.03% in 2016 to 32.51% in 2020), while growth in the private cloud is predicted to rise more than five percent (from 15.02% in 2016 to 20.23% in 2020).

Companies have a difficult choice to make, considering the wide variety of cloud options that promise to address specific business needs. And although public cloud is an attractive approach, many buyers still wonder if they are missing out on some key advantages of the private cloud.

Five Transformational Benefits of the Private Cloud

According to Henry Morris, fellow for IDC’s Worldwide Big Data, Analytics, and Cognitive Software Research, “Most organizations today say that they are meeting their technology needs via a hybrid cloud strategy, blending a mix of public and private cloud services. This multiple cloud situation presents a challenge to IT organizations. Many are lacking the necessary skills in-house for managing a portfolio of applications that are deployed within and outside the enterprise. As a result, many organizations are augmenting their internal IT staff with external services to help manage the infrastructure, the databases, and the applications that are mission-critical for running their business.”

By combining the benefits of on-premise and public cloud environments, the private cloud option provides some compelling advantages.

1. Dedicated implementation and shared support
Like on-premise landscapes, a private cloud allows businesses to customize applications, without complexity and limitations, to suit requirements. Yet, similar to a public cloud, private cloud also allows a business to transfer the responsibility for ongoing software and infrastructure management to the technology provider that designed the software, wrote the cost, and understood it best.

2. Customization
A dedicated, private environment maximizes the ability to tailor an IT system to align with how the business runs and evolves. Adaptations can be innovated from scratch or leveraged from existing solutions. And because the private cloud environment is flexible, this capability is unlimited compared to that of a public cloud option.

3. Pay-as-you-go subscription pricing
One of the most appealing attributes of the cloud, whether private or public, is subscription-based financing, which brings greater control and predictability to the IT operational budget. This model includes user access, ongoing support, upgrades, and maintenance. This approach is a stark difference from the on-premise model, where the software is purchased all at once and the IT organization is responsible for investing time, money, and resources to support it that can fluctuate over time.

4. Service provider management
In a private cloud scenario, the buyer contracts with a service provider to deliver regular access to the software as scoped out in the service-level agreement. The service provider is responsible for keeping the software up to date, ensuring access security, and providing sufficient infrastructure resources to meet varying load demands.

5. Increased security
While security is often cited as a reason to move to a public cloud platform, not every CIO or IT leader is interested in accepting the risk that comes with entrusting their customer and sensitive data to a third party. A private cloud provides a single-tenant environment where the hardware, storage, and networks are dedicated to a single customer with enterprise-grade security. In turn, there is a dedicated closed loop of support that removes any intermediaries.

Private Cloud Turns Digital Disruption into Innovation

Moving to the cloud drives innovation and enhances productivity and efficiency across the business – however, it’s still a big step. A company will need to rely on its IT team’s partnerships with business areas and third-party developers to create a comprehensive set of cloud policies that minimize complexity and offer flexible customization, predictable pricing, reliable service levels, and ironclad security.

Explore the deployment options for a private cloud platform and see if SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud makes sense for your organization. Check out the IDC white paper SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud: A Managed Approach to Deploying SAP S/4HANA, sponsored by SAP.

Andy Greig is marketing manager for Global Services and Support Marketing at SAP.

This story originally appeared on the Digitalist.