“I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster… carrying around these non-connected computers is byzantine by comparison.” – Steve Jobs
This quote, by the late chairman of Apple Inc., sums up the cloud computing permanence in the world of technology. With Microsoft Dynamics 365 fast becoming the go-to solution, the conundrum of online vs. on-premise poses a real and persistent challenge.
Even as more and more businesses are moving to the cloud market, there still remains a sizeable percentage of companies, especially in case of the small and some medium-sized firms, sceptical about the advantages offered by the cloud. Perhaps, it’s best to first understand the reason behind the majority making the shift.
Why move to the cloud?
- Allows flexi-budgeting: The cloud works on the pay-as-you-go principle eliminating the need for a heavy down payment for either the software or the services. This model paves the path for those businesses that need to scale up or downsize within a short period.
- Save the cost of maintenance: Systems require frequent upgrade and maintenance and this recurring expenditure is a drain, time-wise as well as cost-wise. In Cloud-based or SAAS (software as a service) solutions, the service provider shoulders this onus.
- Digital readiness and intelligent services: Cloud solutions offer integration to cloud services like Business Intelligence, Analytics, and other cloud products, thereby dethroning the traditional approaches to solving customer related problems.
- Flexi-working and better collaboration: With data on the cloud, it is easily accessible anytime and from anywhere. A flexible work shift lessens the load on the physical infrastructure and reduces significant costs to the company. Not only this, the team, that’s more often than not a global one, can collaborate and work faster due to shared documents and increased transparency.
- Data security: If document sharing made you squeamish and you wondered if security would get compromised, think again. With data encryption, automatic back-up, anti-malware protection, data wiping and more, the data on the cloud is far more secured that it’s perceived.
Comparing Dynamics 365 online vs. on-premise
As you can see, the arguments in favour of the cloud are definitely strong ones. It’s a good time to discuss whether you should consider Dynamics 365 online or on-premise. Let’s break down the comparison under the following five factors:
There’s zero cost of maintenance if you choose Dynamics 365 online. Since it’s a cloud-based application, no new hardware is required and all the software upgrades are done at the service provider’s end.
On the other hand, the on-premise solutionrequires that the company conduct a periodical maintenance for the existing and/or additional servers and check if the software deployedis up-to-date with the latest versions to comply with the demands of the growing needs.
With the Dynamics 365 on-premise, the upgrade to newer versions has to be manually at the site. A dedicated technical team needs to be deployed to oversee the process. Usually, for an on-premise version, the team holds back on the minor releases and rolls out only the major ones to cut down the cost of frequent updates.
In contrast, for the cloud or online solution, this responsibility is taken over by Microsoft. All the minor and major releases get rolled out on a regular basis and software gets upgraded automatically. The company saves on the cost and time of the upkeep.
The on-premise version takes longer to be deployed since the company needs to bring together the required servers and software to get the version up and running. For a smaller organization, online deployment is profitable while large firms can benefit from an on-premise deployment after a couple of years.
In case of the cloud solution, Microsoft hosts the instances on Azure, its web services platform. The data center network is located across the globe making the deployment of Dynamics 365 online solution quicker.
The online version is available on a monthly subscription basis while the on-premise version has different types of subscription models that are based on Microsoft’s volume licensing.
Firms that want complete control over their sensitive data prefer the on-premise version due to threats of cyber-attacks.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 online version’s integration with the Azure active directorynullifies any security advantage that the on-premise version might have with respect to sensitive data. Additionally, Microsoft has created data centers for major regions and a FedRAMP approved data center for government agencies.
The on-premise version has a huge initial capital investment (CapEX), depending upon the number of users. Add to this, the cost of server maintenance and software upgrade on a regular basis.
The online version is based on a monthly subscription model. You can choose or customize an appropriate plan depending on your requirement and scalability goals.
Get in touch with our expert team to know more details.