Differences between On-Premise Infrastructures and SAAS Solutions : An Essential Clarification

03/04/2024 10 min reading
  1. Definition of On-Premise
  2. What is the definition of Cloud?
  3. What are the differences between On-Premise and Cloud?
  4. Which solutions are available in cloud and on premise versions?
  5. Why choose an On-Premise application?
  6. Definition of SAAS (Software as a Service)
  7. Why choose a SAAS (Software as a Service) application?
  8. FAQ

In a nutshell

The article looks at the definition of On-Premise, its differences from the Cloud, and explores the reasons for choosing an On-Premise or SAAS (Software as a Service) application. It serves as a comprehensive guide for companies seeking to understand these two options in order to make an informed decision.

Definition of On-Premise

On-Premise refers to a method of hosting and managing software, data and IT systems where resources are installed and run on physical servers within the company itself. Rather than hiring services from a third-party supplier, the organisation is responsible for maintenance, updates, security and overall management of the systems. The On-Premise model offers greater control and in-depth customisation, but often requires significant investment in hardware, software and technical expertise.

What is the definition of Cloud?

Cloud, or cloud computing, refers to the delivery of various computing services (such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence) via the Internet ( "the cloud"). These resources can be quickly made available with great flexibility and economical pricing.

What are the differences between On-Premise and Cloud?

The differences between On-Premise and Cloud solutions can be broken down into several key categories:

  1. Hosting :
    • On-Premise : On-Premise solutions are hosted locally within the company, generally on physical servers.
    • Cloud : Cloud solutions are hosted on remote servers managed by a Cloud service provider.
  2. Cost :
    • On-Premise : The On-Premise model often requires higher initial costs for hardware, software and installation, with ongoing maintenance costs.
    • Cloud : The Cloud offers a pay-per-use model, where costs are spread over time and based on consumption.
  3. Flexibility and scalability :
    • On-Premise : Scalability can be more complex and costly, requiring additional investment in hardware and resources.
    • Cloud : The Cloud is generally more flexible and scalable, enabling businesses to adapt their resources quickly to their needs.
  4. Maintenance and updates :
    • On-Premise : Maintenance and updates are generally managed by the company's internal IT team, which may require additional resources.
    • Cloud : Cloud providers often manage maintenance and updates, reducing the company's workload.
  5. Control and customisation :
    • On-Premise : On-Premise solutions offer greater control and scope for customisation, as the systems are managed entirely in-house.
    • Cloud : The Cloud may offer less control and scope for customisation, depending on the supplier's offering.
  6. Safety and Compliance :
    • On-Premise : Security and compliance are entirely under the company's control, which can facilitate certain regulations.
    • Cloud : In the Cloud, responsibility for security and compliance is shared with the supplier, which can require greater coordination and diligence.
  7. Access and Mobility :
    • On-Premise : Access may be limited to a local network or require additional configuration for remote access.
    • Cloud : The Cloud enables easy access from anywhere with an Internet connection, promoting mobility and remote working.

These differences can influence the choice between On-Premise and Cloud, depending on the company's specific needs, objectives and resources.

Which solutions are available in cloud and on premise versions?

There are many solutions that are available in both Cloud and On-Premise versions. This flexibility allows companies to choose the option that best suits their specific control, security, cost, and scalability needs. Here are some solution types and examples that may be available in both formats:

  • Microsoft Dynamics (CRM) : Microsoft Dynamics is a suite of CRM and ERP applications that is available in both Cloud and On-Premise versions. The Dynamics CRM solution enables businesses to manage customer relationships, sales, and marketing, while Dynamics ERP focuses on enterprise resource management.
  • Microsoft SharePoint : SharePoint is a collaboration platform that allows teams to share documents and work together. It is offered as a cloud-hosted solution through SharePoint Online and can also be installed and managed locally as an On-Premise solution.
  • Microsoft Exchange : Exchange is a popular messaging and calendaring platform that can be hosted in the cloud via Exchange Online or installed locally as Exchange Server. This allows companies to choose between the flexibility of the Cloud and the control of an On-Premise installation.
  • Microsoft Office : The Microsoft Office suite, including tools such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook, is available through the cloud with Office 365. There are also traditional versions of Office that can be installed and used locally.
  • PlanningPME : PlanningPME is a planning software that can be adapted to the specific needs of a company. It is available in a Cloud version, called PlanningPME Web Access, as well as a version that can be installed locally on the company's servers.
  • SAP : SAP, a leader in ERP solutions, offers a range of products that can be deployed in the Cloud or On-Premise. This allows companies to choose the option that best suits their needs for managing finances, operations, human resources, and more.

In summary, these solutions offer businesses the flexibility to choose between cloud and on-premise, depending on their cost, control, security, and functionality needs. Each option has its advantages, and the choice often depends on the specific requirements of the organization and its overall technology strategy.

Dynamics SharePoint Exchange Office PlanningPME SAP

Why choose an On-Premise application?

Choosing an On-Premise application may be the best decision for some organisations, depending on their specific needs and priorities. Here are a few reasons why a company might opt for an On-Premise solution:

  • Full control : On-Premise solutions offer total control over data, systems and infrastructure. This enables customised management and configuration according to the company's needs.
  • Compliance and Safety : Certain regulations and industry standards may require data to be stored and managed locally. On-Premise can facilitate compliance with these requirements, offering enhanced security and direct control over data protection measures.
  • Deep Customisation : On-Premise solutions can often be highly customised to meet specific business needs. This can include integrating with other internal systems, adapting functionality and modifying workflows.
  • Supplier independence : By managing systems in-house, an organisation is not dependent on an external supplier for maintenance, availability or updates. This can reduce the risks associated with dependence on a third party.
  • Performance and Latency : An On-Premise solution can offer better performance and reduced latency, particularly for critical applications requiring rapid access to data. As the data is stored locally, there are no delays associated with transmission over the Internet.
  • Long-term costs : Although initial costs may be higher, some organisations may find that an On-Premise solution offers better long-term value for money, especially if they already have the necessary infrastructure and expertise.
  • Integration with existing infrastructure : For companies that already have a significant infrastructure, adopting an On-Premise solution can enable smoother integration with existing systems and processes.

In short, choosing an On-Premise application can be motivated by needs in terms of control, security, customisation and performance. However, this decision must be taken in the light of the resources available, the skills required for management, and the company's long-term objectives.

Definition of SAAS (Software as a Service)

SAAS is a software distribution model in which a third-party supplier hosts applications and makes them available to customers over the Internet. Unlike traditional software, which is installed locally on the user's computer, SAAS is accessible via a web browser and is often based on a subscription model. This allows users to access the application from anywhere and makes it easier for the supplier to update and maintain. SAAS applications are generally configurable and can be quickly adapted to business needs, offering flexibility, accessibility and efficiency.

Why choose a SAAS (Software as a Service) application?

Choosing a SAAS (Software as a Service) application can be advantageous for many organisations for a number of reasons:

  • Reducing initial costs : SAAS solutions generally do not require major investment in hardware or software licences. Fees are often based on a subscription model, which can make entry more affordable.
  • Maintenance and Automatic Updates : With SAAS, maintenance, updates and enhancements are managed by the supplier. This can reduce the team workload and ensure that the application is always up to date.
  • Scalability and flexibility : SAAS applications can generally be scaled quickly to meet changing business needs. Whether you need to add or remove users, the flexibility of the SAAS model makes it easy to do so.
  • Accessibility and collaboration : SAAS applications are accessible via the Internet, enabling remote access and facilitating collaboration between geographically dispersed teams.
  • Integration and Compatibility : Many SAAS providers offer integrations with other popular tools and systems, enabling easier harmonisation with existing processes and workflows.
  • Quick to install : SAAS solutions can often be deployed rapidly, without the need to install and configure software on local systems.
  • Focus on the Core Business : By delegating the management and maintenance of the application to the supplier, companies can concentrate more on their core activities without worrying about the technical aspects.
  • Safety and Compliance : Some SAAS providers offer robust security measures and can help ensure compliance with various regulations, although this depends on specific agreements with the provider.
  • Experimentation and Innovation : The flexible, low-cost nature of SAAS means that companies can experiment with new tools and technologies without committing to major investments.

In short, choosing a SAAS application can offer advantages in terms of cost, flexibility, speed of implementation and operational efficiency. This can be particularly attractive for small and medium-sized enterprises, start-ups, or any organisation looking to optimise its resources and focus on growth and innovation.


On-Premise offers greater control over security, whereas in the Cloud, responsibility is shared with the supplier.

It all depends on your specific needs, budget and resources. SAAS may be more attractive to a small business because of its cost and flexibility.

The transition can be complex and requires careful planning, a needs assessment and an understanding of the implications in terms of costs, safety and compliance.

Yes, a hybrid solution can offer the best of both worlds, combining the control and customisation of On-Premise with the flexibility and efficiency of the Cloud.