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On-premises software: what are they and what are the advantages?

When choosing which hardware and software solutions to implement in your company, it is never easy to find your way around the wide variety of offers on the market! The advantages and disadvantages of each solution must be carefully weighed up, and no aspect can be left to chance.
What makes these assessments even more complicated is the fact that these are investments that have to be made in the medium to long term.
How do you make the right decision?
In this article we focus our attention on on-premises software: will it be the right solution for you?

What are on-premises software

The term 'on-premises' is used to refer to those solutions for using the services and contents of a programme directly at the company's premises .

What does this mean? In practice, using on-premises software means directly purchasing the software itself, which is installed and used within the company's IT environment. Once purchased, the software becomes the property of the purchaser, who gains complete control of the data, assumes all the risks associated with its use, as well as the burden of bearing the costs of management and maintenance.

Benefits of these supplies

Although the cloud and SaaS solutions are becoming increasingly popular, for many companies choosing on-premises software is still the safest and most appropriate alternative. The main reason for using a solution of this type is the security and protection of data, which is 'physically' present on the company's infrastructure and is directly under the control and total management of the company itself.

Another important advantage is the possibility of adapting the software to new business needs. However, for a highly customised adaptation, the costs of upgrading user licences may be very high.

Other benefits include:

  • Data management: control of data is total and it is the licensees who choose who can consult them;
  • Security: data is stored directly on the company's servers, minimising the risk of third parties accessing it. This is also crucial with regard to security and data management regulations, which can be very complex when using cloud storage in foreign data centres;
  • Cost: The software licence is purchased on a one-off basis, after which the programme can be used indefinitely by the licensee;
  • Autonomy: The purchase of a licence implies total independence from external service providers, or from the licence provider itself;
  • Versatility: the software can be adapted, integrated and customised to the needs of business workflows.

All these advantages mean that on-premises solutions are still predominant in all those sectors where security is paramount. Banks or hospitals are just some of the most typical examples of organisations that use this type of programme, precisely in order to have total management and direct access to their data.

What it means to move from On premise to On cloud

The advantages of on-premises solutions are undoubtedly important, but there are also many other disadvantages that can be overcome by switching to 'on cloud' solutions. The most typical example is SaaS, i.e. the logic of using software as a service. In the latter case, the software is not located directly in the IT infrastructure of a company, but rather in that of an external company that manages and distributes it and offers associated services.

What are the reasons for switching from an on-premise to an on-cloud solution?
Let's see what the disadvantages of on-premise software are:

  • Direct use of software must always be accompanied by appropriate hardware compatible with the software;
  • Maintenance and updating costs are borne entirely by the licensee. This also means having the expertise to carry out this type of work;
  • The cost of purchasing individual licences, especially for large companies, can be too high and inconvenient;
  • The support offered by the software developer is generally very limited and will decline over time.

Cloud computing solutions, on the other hand, overcome all these disadvantages. Their use is limited to the sole requirement of having a stable Internet connection; the purchase cost is not one-off, but involves the payment of a fee on a pay-as-you-go basis or at regular intervals over time; it also offers a greater possibility of customising the range of services from which one wishes to benefit; support is constantly guaranteed by developers, and they bear the costs of managing and updating the software; the security criteria, even for the cloud, are now very high and there are specific strategies to prevent damage or data theft.

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