Top 5 Benefits of Switching from On-Premise to the Cloud
The rise of cloud is inevitable, and it holds true for CRMs too. In 2008, only 12% of the businesses had deployed cloud-based CRM. But now the tables have turned; meaning these numbers have reversed and cloud-based CRMs & ERPs are the new market leaders.
IBM reports that “87% of the businesses are estimated to use cloud-based CRM, while the rest use on-premise CRM.”
On-premises vs cloud-based CRM & ERP: What’s the difference?
On-premises CRM & ERP systems were dominant throughout the 2000s. Companies purchased user-based licences upfront and most importantly, hosted the CRM in their own servers, meaning they had full control of their data. But with organisational data now growing exponentially, it can be overwhelming for companies to manage resources to configure, scale, and maintain a vast amount of data in traditional on-premise systems.
Contrarily, in cloud-based CRM & ERP systems, companies host their data on a service provider’s cloud network. Companies can naturally access all their data and focus on crucial business decisions, instead of spending time configuring and maintaining the system. Moving to the cloud significantly improves ease-of-access, reduces operational and maintenance costs, and increases capacities for team collaboration.
This data is critical as it shows a massive shift in the CRM market share and structure. It is imperative for you to capitalise on the changing market trends, especially because a CRM strategy can make or break a business.
Which is the better fit for you?
When deciding between cloud and on-premise, start by identifying your organisation’s unique CRM & ERP requirements. Ask these questions:
- Do you have the financial capacity to invest in new resources: infrastructure, software licensing, or support?
- Do you have the technical know-how or can afford a dedicated IT staff?
- How do you envision your business growth in the days to come?
- How much flexibility do you need?
- Is maintaining confidentiality & control over your corporate data an utmost priority?
If your organisation hasn’t yet tapped into the power of the cloud, here are 5 business benefits worth considering:
1. Cost-effective deployment and maintenance
If you are using an on-premise CRM, you will likely have to separate a huge budget for costly IT infrastructure: servers, software related issues, version upgrades, installation costs, maintenance costs, expenses related to hosting, hiring experts and so on. Their configuration and maintenance can result in greater costs over time.
Cloud-based CRM & ERP systems use a subscription-based model which helps you lower upfront expenses by avoiding software licence costs. They also remove the overhead cost of configuring and maintaining a dedicated CRM server. Some software providers even allow you to scale up and down on licences as per your requirements. This means that you only pay for what you use!
For cloud implementations, a single cost covers everything ranging from the annual IT cost, maintenance, and software updates. No significant hardware setups, no mass-hiring IT resources.
Alternatively, for an on-premise system, you pay an upfront, one-time fee. Although the initial cost looks relatively lesser than cloud deployment, you will need to make additional upfront investment in hardware, setup, and eventually, future maintenance and upgrades.
2. Faster configuration and turnaround time
On-premises CRM & ERP systems require intensive planning, budgeting, and resource-allocation. It can take weeks if not months to get the system up and running. On-premise systems may require setting up costly hardware, hiring IT resources, and sometimes even complete overhaul of your internet connection. This can be a rather rigorous process that takes a toll on your organisational operations.
Whereas, with a cloud CRM & ERP, installation has already been taken care of by the software vendor. Cloud systems can be configured and deployed quicker without the need for exhaustive measures. The installation is hassle-free as everything is taken care of remotely by the service provider. Even though the installation time may depend on the size of your organisation and amount of data to be migrated, you can still make sure your BAU tasks are not hampered during deployment.
3. Promote collaboration & upscale performance
Cloud CRM keeps your team up and running like a well-oiled machine. A fully integrated cloud CRM & ERP system means your employees’ productivity is no longer dependent on a rigid schedule (increased efficiency). Your team can login to the system and have 24/7 access to data at times they need the most!
For instance, traditionally, employees had to send files back and forth as separate email attachments which could be worked on by one user at a time. But, with cloud computing, all files are stored centrally, and everyone sees one version of the truth. Greater visibility, better collaboration, better results!
Moreover, a cloud-based workflow along with collaboration applications such as SharePoint, Office365, and Microsoft Teams give departments working in silos the ability to operate in synergy. Additionally, cloud solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce empower your team and help accelerate your business growth.
4. Increased mobility & flexibility in accessing the system
While using an on-premise CRM & ERP, you can only access data or perform transactions within the network limitations specified by the organisation. On the other hand, online or cloud system gives your employees the flexibility to login from anywhere, anytime and on any device.
What this means for industries whose workers are often on-site is that you can equip them with the right tools to get things done on-the-go. This works particularly well for CRM & ERP systems that are device-responsive; meaning they adapt to various device interfaces – be it laptops, mobiles, or tablets. For instance, CRMs can be integrated with mobile apps as well (one great example is Dynamics 365’s integration with PowerApps). Simple tasks can be done from anywhere on the site through mobile apps and the data can be easily synced with the CRM system.
In an era when employees desire flexibility in their work environment, businesses operating on cloud can provide employees with options to work remotely without risking efficiency.
5. Ensured data security and disaster prevention
Storing data on the cloud safeguards your data in case of any emergency or technical disasters. Because data is stored safely in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. Data in the cloud is not affected by equipment damage, power shut off, and other critical IT issues.
Add to the fact that big CRM & ERP companies invest millions of dollars in their cloud infrastructure which cannot be matched by any individual company. This means they also have the necessary expertise to provide consistent support and an excellent disaster recovery plan in place. For example: companies like Microsoft that host their CRM & ERP systems on cloud, guarantee up to a 99.99% of uptime.
On the other hand, data hosted in on-premise systems require constant monitoring and tweaking. If you don’t have enough IT experts and resources, this can amount to an alarming investment – especially in potential cases of data loss. .