Cloud vs. On-Premise Software for Managing the Network

2018 is the year of the Cloud (okay, maybe someone said that about 2017, and maybe they’ll say that about 2019, too). Right now, there is a lot of discussion around what’s better in software today: a Cloud or on-premise solution?

There’s no doubt that the Cloud is trending upward. A 2017 tech forecast survey conducted by the team at Computerworld asked IT managers about their usage of the Cloud: 79% of respondents said they have a Cloud project underway or planned. Despite how quickly the Cloud is being adopted in IT, there is still a healthy amount of debate as to its usefulness. Pricing structures can be off-putting or overly complicated at first glance, and ROI can be murky. A report from Trustmarque indicated that just 34% of CIO’s believed their Cloud implementations delivered on the hype.

All of this debate brings me right back to my earlier days at Digex…back when web hosting was the hype during the dot.com boom. I guess it all comes back full circle, doesn’t it?

Whether you need network mapping software — or a word processing program — learning to differentiate what your organization needs is a skill to learn now: an outsourced provider (that would host your application, and infrastructure for you) or an on-premise or collocation solution (in which you would need to manage the infrastructure and equipment)? As my company Graphical Networks offers both on-premise and Cloud options for network mapping, here’s my unbiased perspective on the upsides of both.

More and more businesses are adopting to a Cloud/SaaS — and there are plenty of reasons to do so:

SaaS Pros:

  • Simplify IT budgets. IT Dept can budget a consistent monthly SaaS subscription, instead of budget for all different factors, like hardware and software costs.
  • Shorten the implementation time as it leverages the vendor’s platform.
  • Only pay for what you need and the IT infrastructure (server and maintenance) costs is covered by vendor.
  • Easy scalability with little time and effort.
  • Regulatory compliance.

Many companies continue to invest in on-premise solutions, especially for enterprise software solutions such as DCIM, for a variety of important reasons:

On-Premise Advantages:

  • Offers control over your data.
  • Data is secure. Keeping your server on-site means that you don’t have to use an outside network and your information can be encrypted to your own specifications.
  • Flexibility. This is the most flexible option for customization to fit within the company policies and processes.
  • Integrations of data between systems will be faster.
  • Lower ongoing maintenance fee.

The most important thing to do when considering on-premise vs. SaaS solutions is to consider the needs of your organization. What is the highest priority and how will this solution work within your processes and meet your own requirements? If, for example, security is top priority — there is probably no debate: you need an on-premise solution. If a short implementation time, or scalability, is your chief concern — a Cloud-based solution is probably what you need.

Ultimately, there isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between SaaS or on-premise: the decision needs to be made on a case-by-case basis. Though technology is certainly drifting up toward the Cloud, on-premise solutions isn’t likely to go away any time soon.

Fred Koh
Fred Koh
As a seasoned sales executive, Fred Koh serves as Director of Sales and is responsible for Graphical Networks sales and channel partner program, marketing strategy, and operations.

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