As technology continues with its unstoppable march, businesses are increasingly faced with the question of what kind of software to adopt for their next set of systems, or upgrade. Over the last decade, Cloud-based software has become the software type of choice for many, with around 93% of enterprise businesses already using some type of cloud system.
What is the difference?
The main difference between the two is the way in which they are deployed. With cloud solutions, the vendor hosts all of the data and then offers access via a web portal. This means that your physical server room becomes redundant and all management is handed over to a third party. This predominantly allows a greater level of flexibility and mobility in terms of how data is inputted, stored, managed, and used by the cloud-based solutions.
With on-premise solutions, the owner of the data also has to commit to its local ownership, including hardware and software. Everything runs on machines that have to be run and maintained by you, with no third-party access.
What's the cost?
One of the main reasons that businesses switch to cloud-based hosting solutions is that they perceive the cost to be either lower or offering better value for money. Cloud platforms usually bill on a monthly basis and have minimal entry costs. They are also scalable so you only pay for what you use and can add and remove capability as and when required.
On-premise solutions, however, can be very high as you need to kit out a server room including hardware, software, infrastructure and staff to maintain it. In addition to this, to stay up to date with technology, you would have to keep upgrading everything- a task that could be quite expensive over say 10 years. You would also have to consider costs such as electricity and insurance as well as other operational outgoings that could see you forking out significantly more for on-premise, as opposed to cloud-based software.
With cloud-based solutions, businesses are able to factor in the cost to their annual budget and you avoid issues such as server meltdowns or the malfunctioning of expensive equipment.
What if something goes wrong?
If you are running an on-premise system, the chances are that you have also had to employ someone to take care of it on either a full-time or part-time basis. With cloud-based solutions, all you have to do is decide the level of customer support and maintenance you want and add the figure onto your monthly total. Service is then on demand and you don’t have to worry about the person in charge of making things run smoothly, taking holiday or sick leave at a crucial moment!
What about security?
Ok so, depending on what industry you work in, it is understandable that you may have concerns about migrating all of your precious data to a third party. On the other hand, engaging a professional whose sole job it is to take care of your data can alleviate a lot of headaches. In addition to this- SMEs and startups can benefit from enterprise-level security, without having to pay such a big price tag.
There are however some highly regulated industries that are required to have on-premise storage solutions and may prefer to keep their data, quite literally within reach. The decision on whether to opt for cloud-based or premise-based data storage solutions will depend a lot on the type of sector you work in, your budget, the size of your business, and of course, your personal preferences. But with more and more taking the leap into the cloud-based software, the time could be now to sit down and reassess your options with a fresh perspective.
Get in Touch with BDO's Technology Advisory Team to learn more.