On-premises or cloud-based CRM software?

We hear a lot about the cloud as THE solution for hosting data and running applications. In recent years, this type of hosting has won all the votes, but is it necessarily the best for customer relationship management software? The pro-clouds oppose the anti-clouds, who are convinced that nothing can replace traditional hosted solutions. So who to believe? How to find the right balance? Should I choose one or the other or is there an alternative?


On-premises / cloud

The obvious difference between on-premises and cloud solutions is where information and software are stored. To deploy on-site software, you need to have servers at the hosting location whereas with the cloud, your data and your CRM software are stored in remote servers and access is done online, via a connection. Internet.


The advantages of the cloud

  1. Reduction of infrastructure costs: the greatest advantage of “cloud computing” (which can be translated as “computing in the clouds”) compared to traditional software hosting is therefore the absence of hardware to install or problems software maintenance.
  2. Effortless maintenance: With the software residing in the cloud, all technical elements and software updates are taken care of by the software publisher, without any action on your part.
  3. Scalability: Another advantage of cloud services is their scalability. Since you only need to change your subscription contract to increase (or decrease) your cloud storage capacity, you can easily integrate changes in your professional environment without having to spend large sums on additional servers.
  4. Improved productivity and universal availability of information: Thanks to the cloud, workflow and processes can be simplified, as collaboration between departments becomes faster and easier. Data is accessible by those who need it, wherever they are, and constantly revised in real time, so everyone always has access to the most up-to-date information. This mitigates version conflicts, which can arise with on-premises software if data changes and different versions cross paths in transit between colleagues.

The cloud may not be for everyone – consider:

  1. Security: Security issues are high on the list of concerns for many “cloud critics,” even though the cloud is often more secure than many private data centers. A good cloud service provider will have robust processes in place to ensure that your data is protected, accessible at all times, and regularly backed up.
  2. Third-Party Disruptions: Although disruptions to major cloud services are rare, they do occur, making fear of a potential service disruption a justified worry for businesses that such an event would be disastrous.
  3. Control: On-premises solutions are also vulnerable to security and outage issues, but cloud software leaves you at the mercy of a third party. The degree to which you should be concerned will partly depend on the level of trust you place in your cloud provider. Additionally, some companies prefer to control when updates are rolled out to the software they use. The on-premises approach allows users to control the timing of updates and upgrades.
  4. Data recovery: With the cloud, data is often stored in proprietary formats, and recovery may involve service requests, potentially at additional cost.
  5. Regulatory requirements: Depending on your type of business, there may be regulatory requirements and international laws that may limit what data can be stored outside of a country. Healthcare and financial services are obvious examples of sensitive industries where making the decision to store sensitive information on-premises rather than using a cloud computing solution may be a better approach.
  6. "Where is my data:" This is a common question regarding public clouds, as it can sometimes be very difficult to know exactly where your data is.
  7. Data integration issues: Difficulties integrating your company's existing processes with the cloud can be another reason for not migrating. Custom databases of customer information, for example, don't always install easily in the cloud.

Can I have the best of both worlds?

There is a way to get the best of both worlds and many companies are today. Today, we are ready to adopt a hybrid approach that uses a mixture of on-premises software and hardware, as well as public or private cloud services.

Indeed, this approach allows you to choose the technology that suits you best, whatever its form. This allows you to stick with on-premises solutions when security, or the perception of security, may be an issue, and use a cloud-based CRM system for better profitability or when you need to give your team offsite access to customer information.

Implementing a hybrid system can be a good option if there is a built-in organizational reluctance to use the cloud, to avoid an “all or nothing” solution. Using legacy apps on operational accounts while using cloud-based tools for new business could be a cost-effective way to move forward with minimal risk, giving you the best of both approaches. And because there are no major long-term commitments with cloud-based solutions, you won't incur large or unnecessary expenses when testing the waters.


Should you migrate your CRM to the cloud?

So perhaps the most pragmatic view is not to think in terms of cloud or on-premises, but rather in terms of what works best for your needs in terms of performance and convenience, which might lead to a hybrid solution. Your choice will depend on the type of data you need to store and your approach as an organization to the benefits of cloud computing in general.


Act! Premium

With unparalleled flexibility and freedom of choice, Act! Premium accommodates all the unique ways you do business, whether you prefer on-premises or in the cloud. With our cloud, we offer:

  • Instant online access to Act! Premium

Get started immediately with instant online access to rich contact, calendar, opportunity and email marketing information accessible from your computer, tablet and mobile device. Work online for real-time access to Act!, or work offline with the option to sync changes the next time you log in.

  • Practical help, every step of the way, for peace of mind

From initial setup and ongoing software management to training and support, we take care of the technical details so you don't have to.

  • Automatic upgrades – no download or installation required

Leave the technical details to us: upgrades, new features and compatibility updates are delivered to you automatically. And rest assured that your subscription includes free access to digital self-help resources and expert technical support advisors whenever you need answers.

  • Modern and secure platform with unparalleled flexibility

Get the best SOC-3 compliant security, performance, and reliability because Act! is hosted on Amazon Web Services. Plus, nightly backups and restore protect your data from loss or damage.

  • Hosted by Act!

We take care of the hosting so you can focus on what matters most: your business.

If you prefer the security and control of an on-premises solution where you decide when updates and upgrades occur, our desktop solution is the perfect fit! If you prefer the convenience and peace of mind of a cloud-based solution where we handle all the technical details and nightly backups, our cloud-based solution is for you.

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