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On-Premises ERP Vs. Cloud-Based ERP: Which Is Best?

Table of Contents hide 1 Introduction 2 On-Premises ERP 2.1 Advantages of on-premises ERP: 2.2 Disadvantages of on-premises ERP: 3 Cloud-Based ERP...

Written by Niel Patel · 5 min read >
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When it comes to controlling and streamlining operations, enterprise resource planning (ERP) technologies are indispensable. ERP systems have made the transition from on-premises to cloud-based platforms as technology has advanced. Because of this change, companies are debating whether strategy is better for them. We’ll look at the pros and downsides of both on-premises and cloud-based ERP software, as well as other considerations, so you can make an informed choice.


On-Premises ERP

The term “on-premises ERP” is used to describe the more conventional method of implementing an ERP system, in which all of the necessary components (including software and hardware) are kept in-house. The company runs on its own servers, maintains its own databases, and controls its own network.

Advantages of on-premises ERP:

  • Control and customization: On-premises ERP provides greater control over the system, allowing organizations to tailor the software to their own needs and workflows. 
  • Data security: Because the data is stored on the company’s premises, organizations have complete control over their data protection methods, decreasing concerns about data breaches. 
  • Compliance: Some industries have stringent legal requirements, and on-premises ERP can provide better compliance management by allowing organizations to keep data within their own physical infrastructure.

Disadvantages of on-premises ERP:

  • High initial investment: Implementing an on-premises ERP system necessitates a significant initial expenditure in servers, hardware, licenses, and IT infrastructure. 
  • Maintenance and upgrades: It is the responsibility of businesses to maintain and upgrade software, which necessitates the use of dedicated IT resources and knowledge. 
  • Limitations in scalability: Scaling an on-premises ERP system can be difficult because firms must invest in extra technology and infrastructure as they grow. 

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Cloud-Based ERP

Cloud-based ERP, also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ERP, is an approach in which a third-party supplier hosts and manages the ERP system. Users connect to the system over the internet, which eliminates the requirement for on-site infrastructure.

Advantages of cloud-based ERP:

  • Lower initial investment: Cloud-based ERP systems often function on a subscription-based pricing basis, requiring less initial investment. 
  • Users can access the ERP system from any location, at any time, as long as they have an internet connection. This allows for remote work and cooperation across multiple places. 
  • Cloud ERP companies handle system maintenance, upgrades, and backups automatically, freeing enterprises of the burden of managing the underlying infrastructure.

Disadvantages of cloud-based ERP:

  • Concerns about data security: Storing sensitive data on a third-party server raises questions about data security and confidentiality. To mitigate these dangers, credible cloud ERP companies adopt strict security procedures. 
  • Internet dependency: Cloud-based ERP is significantly reliant on internet connectivity. If the internet is down, access to the system may be hampered and corporate operations may be temporarily disrupted. 
  • Limited customization: Because cloud ERP systems are meant to serve a larger customer base, they often provide less customization options than on-premises alternatives.

Factors to Consider

Business requirements and goals:

In order to determine which ERP deployment model best matches with the organization’s objectives, unique business demands and long-term goals must be assessed. Consider the organization’s size, industry-specific requirements, and the complexity of business processes that must be controlled.

Budget and cost considerations:

It is critical to compare the financial consequences of on-premises ERP versus cloud-based ERP. On-premises ERP often necessitates a major upfront investment in hardware, licenses, and infrastructure, whereas cloud-based ERP is a subscription-based strategy that spreads the costs over time. Consider the overall cost of ownership, maintenance costs, and potential return on investment of each choice.

IT infrastructure and resources:

Evaluate the organization’s existing IT infrastructure and resources. On-premises ERP necessitates the use of professional IT personnel to manage hardware, software, and maintenance chores. Cloud-based ERP, on the other hand, offloads infrastructure administration to the service provider, decreasing the pressure on internal IT personnel. Consider whether your organization has the experience and resources to support an on-premises solution or whether you wish to utilize the expertise of a cloud ERP SaaS provider.

Security and compliance requirements:

When selecting an ERP deployment option, keep the organization’s security and compliance requirements in mind. Because the data lives within the company’s physical infrastructure, on-premises ERP gives for better control over data protection procedures. To ensure data protection, credible cloud ERP companies adopt rigorous security features such as data encryption, access controls, and frequent security audits.

Evaluate your industry’s specific security and compliance requirements and evaluate which deployment approach can best meet those objectives.

Scalability and growth potential:

When selecting an ERP solution, keep the organization’s scalability and expansion potential in mind. As the firm grows, on-premises ERP systems may necessitate extra expenditures in hardware and infrastructure, whereas cloud-based ERP provides greater scalability and flexibility. Cloud ERP systems enable businesses to simply expand or remove user licenses, storage space, and functionality as needed, making them ideal for organizations dealing with rapid expansion or fluctuating demand.

Cloud ERP vs. On-Premises ERP: Cost and Deployment

One of the most important things to think about when picking an ERP system is the budget and implementation strategy. Cloud-based ERP and on-premises ERP are the two most common deployment models. To make a well-informed decision, it’s important to weigh the costs and time commitments associated with each approach. Let’s have a look at how much each would cost and how long it would take to implement.

Cost of Cloud-Based ERP:

Cloud-based ERP systems operate on a subscription-based pricing model, typically charged on a monthly or annual basis. The costs associated with cloud-based ERP include:

Subscription Fees: Businesses pay a recurring fee to access and use the cloud ERP software. The subscription fee varies based on factors such as the number of users, functionality required, and level of support provided. 

Implementation Costs: Cloud ERP implementations generally have lower upfront costs compared to on-premises ERP. However, there may be additional costs involved in data migration, customization, and training during the implementation phase. 

Maintenance and Support: The cloud ERP provider is responsible for system maintenance, upgrades, and technical support. These costs are typically included in the subscription fee, reducing the burden on the organization.

Cost of On-Premises ERP:

There is a high initial cost associated with implementing an on-premises ERP system due to the need to purchase expensive hardware, software, and IT infrastructure.

The costs associated with on-premises ERP include:

a. Software Licenses: Organizations must purchase software licenses upfront, typically based on the number of users or concurrent users. These licenses are a one-time cost but may require periodic renewal or upgrades. 

b. Hardware and Infrastructure: On-premises ERP requires dedicated servers, networking equipment, and other infrastructure components. These costs include the initial purchase, installation, and ongoing maintenance of the hardware. 

c. Implementation and Customization: On-premises ERP implementations often involve additional costs related to professional services, such as implementation consultants, system configuration, data migration, and customization to meet specific business needs. 

d. Maintenance and Upgrades: Organizations are responsible for maintaining and upgrading the ERP software, which may involve additional costs for IT resources, software updates, security patches, and hardware upgrades.

Deployment Considerations:

The deployment model for ERP systems also differs between cloud-based and on-premises solutions:

a. Cloud-Based ERP Deployment: ERP systems in the cloud are hosted by the service provider and accessed over the internet. Timelines for implementation are typically shorter because the necessary infrastructure already exists. The cloud ERP service provider handles all the upgrades and maintenance, and organizations can quickly scale up or down their resources as needed.

b. On-Premises ERP Deployment: The ERP system is installed and managed by the company on-site, hence the name “on-premises.” Due to the time required to source and install the required hardware and infrastructure, this deployment methodology typically results in lengthier implementation times. On-premises enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions provide for more fine-grained management and customization, but they necessitate persistent IT support for updates and upkeep.  

Before choosing between cloud-based ERP and on-premises ERP, organizations should take a close look at their budget, long-term goals, IT resources, and unique needs. Organizations can make a well-informed decision that serves their needs and contributes to their overall business goals by taking into account the cost implications and deployment concerns.


The decision between on-premises ERP and cloud-based ERP is influenced by a number of criteria, including business requirements, budget, IT resources, security requirements, and scalability. While on-premises ERP provides better flexibility and customization, it is more expensive to implement and maintain. Cloud-based ERP, on the other hand, offers flexibility, accessibility, and cost-effectiveness, but customization may be limited.

Organizations may make an informed decision that best corresponds with their specific objectives and goals by carefully assessing these aspects and considering real-world case studies.

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