Cloud Server or On-Premise?

It wasn’t so long ago when almost all software applications were on-premise. There was something comforting about having everything under your control where you could see it.

In recent years things have changed, with more and more applications that we use on a day-to-day basis being hosted in the Cloud, including increasingly one of the most important things to us – our banking.

As confidence in the security of Cloud based servers has increased, so too have their use. Most applications are now available in either a Cloud or On-Premise version and this article seeks to examine the essential differences when considering the implementation of a Document Management Solution.

How businesses manage their critical information has always been an important factor and perhaps never more so than during the last twelve months. Where once the means by which information could be securely accessed, shared and processed might have been seen as a nice to have, recent events have shown graphically that pushing paper is no longer a viable option.

Whilst Document Management systems have been with us for decades they are now being seen as a one of the most important aspects of business process, delivering very secure and immediate access to information whilst automating business processes which were previously cumbersome, error prone and labour intensive.

In this article, we examine the pros and cons of Cloud based and On-Premise Document Management Systems to help you make the right choice for your business.

Cloud vs On-premise – Which to Choose?

First and foremost, whichever of these options you choose, the functionality remains the same. Both store data on a server and comprise an application through which this is both accessed and processed.

But there are some essential differences…………..

Cloud Server Document Management System On- Premise Document Management System
Software acquired via an ongoing licence and remains the property of the provider
Software and required modules need to be purchased
Documents are stored on a remote server maintained and managed by your service provider.
Documents are stored on your own server which you maintain
The server is managed by your provider and requires no input from you
You are responsible for the management, maintenance, and upgrade of your server.
System backups maintained by your provider
Responsibility for back up remains with you.
No hardware requirement or provision for support, upgrade or maintenance as the responsibility of your provider.
You are entirely responsible for the ongoing maintenance, upgrade, and support of your server network to current required standards.
Cloud based applications may be accessed from any location and on any device
Access may be limited to the host location dependent upon intranet access.

So Why Might You Choose a Cloud Based Document Management System?

As document management systems become more and more important to business, we examine why a Cloud based one may be the better option for you.

  1. Security of Your Data:

Hosting with a recognised provider potentially represents a far lower security risk. It is what they do and consequently they have the necessary infrastructure to ensure your data is always secure. These costs can be punitive to small businesses when attempting to deliver an on-premise solution, with considerable costs associated with the upkeep of in-house servers.


  1. Greatly Reduced Costs:

Providing the necessary server infrastructure to securely house your data internally can be very expensive. From the initial outlay of the server and its ongoing maintenance, support and in time likely upgrade, you will likeliest require either employed or outsourced specialists. These costs should be included within a cloud-based system and therefore are evenly spread over the term of the contract.

  1. Access:

Increasingly and all indications suggest for the foreseeable future, employees will not always be based in the office. Cloud based applications only rely upon an internet connection and therefore can be accessed from any location and potentially on any device. These options may be more limited and therefore disruptive when operating an on-premise solution dependent upon your intranet access capability.


  1. Pain Free Scalability:

Upscaling to meet your future demands is easy via cloud-based solutions. The functionality to meet your needs remains in place whilst increased storage is very simply achieved.


On-premise solutions may require further investment in space and functionality to cater for your future requirement or indeed need to be replaced completely. 


Whether you choose Cloud or On-premise as your means of accessing a document management system will depend entirely on your own set of circumstances, infrastructure and in-house IT capability.


Qualified document management specialists will be able to assist you in this decision-making process to ensure you have the right delivery mechanism and functionality to suit your business both currently and into the future.


Your Next Move

We hope you have found our insight useful, if you are now ready to begin the process of looking at how an electronic document management solution can bring immediate and sustainable benefits to your business. Why not get in touch with BPMS and let our specialists help you begin the journey to allow you to prosper in the new world of work.