When it comes to the software your business needs to keep its operations performing at their best, new technologies and innovations have certainly increased your options. But this expanded choice has also made it tougher for companies to decide what to opt for – especially when there are other options to factor in too.
Things like your internet capabilities, the scalability of systems, and, of course, the budget at your disposal, all have a part to play, so weighing up what’s going to be the most beneficial to your business is vital.
Before you make a decision, we’ll take a look at the different options of software deployment – on-premises, SaaS (software as a service) or hosted – along with their features and benefits to help you choose a deployment architecture that’s right for your business.
- On-Premises Deployment
- SaaS Deployment
- Hosted Deployment
- On-Premises, SaaS or Hosted Software Deployment: Which is Right for You?
What is On-Premises Deployment?
The traditional way of purchasing and using software, on-premises deployment involves running software on a company’s own servers that are protected by its internal firewall. A business pays the total cost up-front for products they own the licenses to. This product is then installed by the software vendor and run on that business’ own server.
For on-premises software to be deployed, you’ll need to own and manage your physical computer server(s) internally. You’ll also be responsible for any back-ups and upgrades to the software.
What Are the Benefits of On-Premises Deployments?
For many businesses, the main benefit is obvious: full management and total control over their data with added external functionality. This degree of control adds an extra layer of security to your operations.
With your data in-house, you can drastically cut down on the number of potential vulnerabilities that cyber-attackers can exploit. And at no point does your data have to leave your company, which can also help shore up issues with compliance too.
This local storage perspective also helps if network problems arise. Should you lose internet, your employees can still access the data through on-premises solutions.
On-premises deployment also offers a far higher level of customisation. Since your software is located on-site, you can easily tailor it to meet your needs as you see fit, allowing for a more individualised approach to your software and data.
Despite the larger upfront cost, there are still savings to be made with on-premises approaches. SaaS-based services need a high-speed connection to fully function. Without the need for a strong connection and fast download speeds to view files stored on the cloud, you may be able to forego an expensive internet plan in the first place.
What is SaaS Deployment?
Software as a service or SaaS deployment uses a third party to remotely host your data and software. That means you access the software over a high-speed internet connection, with no hardware requirements at your premises and, typically, a fixed monthly or annual cost to cover the cost of the software and its maintenance.
For this reason, the server infrastructure, security, data integrity, backups and updates are all managed by a third-party vendor. Effectively, you’re renting the software as opposed to owning it outright.
What are the Benefits of SaaS Deployment?
Since they operate on a pay-as-needed basis, SaaS deployments are scalable up and down depending on overall usage, what your business requires and the growth of the company itself.
It’s common for SaaS vendors to adjust their prices accordingly, and you’ll always have the option to adjust, add or leave storage features out of your plan entirely. If you’re expecting change, then this degree of flexibility won’t lock you into paying for services you no longer have any need for.
With a monthly subscription, there’s no need for the same large upfront payment as there would be with an on-premises approach, which tends to make SaaS deployments more cost-effective too.
The cloud has the added benefit of also offering more straightforward data backups. Should your computer crash or get damaged due to natural causes, then you can easily retrieve your date.
The SaaS approach also makes the most sense for remote workers. Home working environments have made it so that the need to access vital data and information anywhere and anytime is essential. SaaS deployments give employees a way of carrying out their duties wherever they’re based.
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What is Hosted Deployment?
Hosted deployments are a blend of the two previous approaches. So, while you own the software, there’s much less of an investment for the hardware. With hosted deployments, you’ll pay for a license or subscription (much like with SaaS deployment) with your software accessible through a cloud environment solely dedicated to your business.
What are the Benefits of Hosted Deployment?
Compared to on-premises deployment, a hosted approach tends to be more cost-effective. Since there is no need for in-house servers, you can eliminate the need to purchase expensive hardware.
And although you’ll still have to contend with installation costs, these are still far less than what you’d expect to pay for on-premises installation. Plus, you won’t have to worry about settling ongoing maintenance costs, either.
Many of the benefits of cloud computing (remote work opportunities, high level of scalability) also apply here, with the added advantage of giving you more control over things such as deciding when to implement upgrades.
Cloud-based software offered on a SaaS basis are proving to be increasingly popular in today’s remote-forward environment, and with good reason. They’re less resource-intensive, can be more cost-effective and offer plenty of flexibility when it comes to accessing data.
Of course, there are concerns to be had over security when using the cloud to access software. Remember, you’re essentially entrusting the management of your data to another company. There’s always a chance that unauthorised personnel can access your data (though this is also true of on-premises deployment in some cases).
If you opt for SaaS deployment, then it’s always best to enquire about the security practices, procedures and encryption methods of the third party you plan on working with.
On-premises deployment, on the other hand, might make more sense if you have a comparably complex implementation, especially demanding security needs or sensitive data. Of course, all of that comes with a price, but greater control over your IT infrastructure can provide greater peace of mind. And if your internet tends to be erratic, then an on-premises deployment can overcome a lot of these issues.
With that said, the higher level of control doesn’t necessarily translate to a reduction in cyberattacks. The onus falls on you to remain accountable, and that means trusting the people and systems you work with to ensure your infrastructure remains safeguarded at all times.
You’ll also want to consider which option suits your current internet and infrastructure capabilities, whether you want to invest in what can amount to huge internal IT skills and resources, as well as how their scalability capabilities can match the way you see your business growing.
Ultimately, your decision comes down to what you believe is the best fit for your business.
Software deployment is a significant business decision. We hope this article can help you weigh up your options and make the right choice. For more information on how Intact can help you optimise your operations into the future, visit the homepage or get in touch with our expert team today.