On-Premises or in the Cloud: Where Do You Want Your BI Tools to be?

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A conversation you won’t be able to avoid when implementing Business Intelligence (BI) software: on-premise technology versus a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform.  Traditionally, software has been purchased, then housed and managed in the office.  Nowadays, however, SaaS or Cloud platforms are building momentum as a smart, popular alternative, and this debate remains hot for both customers and vendors.


Generally speaking, customers are seeking a business user friendly, but powerful BI tool or suite of tools.  How the system is managed can be a big factor when making an investment, regarding accessibility, cost, customization, and maintenance responsibility. For the BI vendor, your business is priority #1, but this is also a threshold for technology evolution that they are trying to interpret and figure out their path forward.  I just spoke to an Accounting clerk friend of mine in Alabama, whose boss asked her to research budgeting tools for purchase later this year.  Right away, she was quite confused about the benefit differentiation between on-premise and Cloud platforms.


Cloud_On premise
Image taken from Shutterstock.



In my experience, she is not the first or the last to find the two deployment options puzzling when it comes to understanding which is “better.”  In the frustration of sales verbiage rushing toward her from seemingly all directions and the internet research maze, she confided that she is unclear as to which option would be right for her company.  Simply, if you try to research more about both options, most web sites are going to position themselves as the best choice.  Similarly, if you’re sitting in a sales meeting, the vendor or partner is there to sell their product, which includes how it will be deployed and managed.  It is no surprise that she and many others feel unequipped when making this important fundamental choice.  There is a lot to think about when deciding which is the best option for your company.


When evaluating the differences between on-premises and SaaS platforms, there are several things to consider about your company’s specific needs.  Rightfully, a lot of sales people are emphasizing the price and the management of the software currently, but you should also know about hardware and security aspects. This article will go about exploring the options in regard to the product marketplace and these facets.


In looking at the element that gets the most focus, cost can be a tricky thing to understand when it comes to platform management. Both sides are going to posit their option is more cost-efficient, usually with an emphasis on the long run.  It might seem that SaaS is the obviously more expensive choice at first glance.  Just like renting a home versus owning, you are routinely paying for the management of your software and your data by way of a Cloud platform without achieving any equity, whereas an on-premises solution requires an upfront investment – and the product is yours to run, manage, and maintain.  Proponents of on-premise will assert that, after 3-5 years, you will have recouped your initial investment.  Furthermore, you own the software, while Cloud platform payments continue indefinitely.  SaaS vendors’ counterpoint: there are always backup, recovery, maintenance, hardware additions and software updates to consider.


To continue learning more about what to understand about the differences between On-Premises and SaaS platforms, read the rest of this article here.

by Solver, Inc

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