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Which Should You Choose: A SAAS or an On-Premise eCommerce Solution?

June 8th, 2015 Manasi Kulkarni No comments

Cloud computing and a highly competitive business arena have made SAAS – Software as a Service – solutions popular among business owners (particularly small- to medium-sized business owners). eCommerce businesses can greatly benefit from such SAAS solutions, and this post attempts to lay out the benefits and disadvantages of both SAAS and on-premise eCommerce solutions to help you make an informed decision.

  1. Availability and deployment: As compared to on-premise software solutions, SAAS solutions are more quickly available and can be easily deployed. On-premise solutions may take weeks or even months to deploy from the time you decide to invest in an ecommerce solution for your business. The SAAS solutions do not involve receiving any installation package from the provider, installation of CDs, or involvement of a dedicated IT department to ensure smooth installation and deployment of the software etc. SAAS solutions are available over the internet, and business owners can begin using them simply by signing in within minutes.
  2. Hardware/IT infrastructure requirements: On-premise solutions usually require the business owner to maintain some dedicated hardware and invest towards its regular maintenance and upgrade as per the ecommerce solution’s requirements. While larger businesses might not require any additional hardware procurement, or new procurement might not be an issue, for smaller businesses purchasing and maintaining hardware can mean additional costs that they would rather avoid. SAAS solutions are available over the cloud and do not require the business owner to make any additional investments. The infrastructural requirements are thus significantly reduced.
  3. Solution upgrades: Traditional on-premise installations require the business owner to keep track of and manage software upgrades at his end. This can be a cumbersome activity if a dedicated IT department is not available and if the solution provider is not proactive in providing the upgrades or new releases to the business owner. In comparison, a SAAS solution is maintained entirely by the provider and all upgrades are automatically available to the business owner.
  4. Costing: It follows from the earlier points that SAAS solutions are relatively cheaper to procure and maintain as compared to on-premise installations. With limited hardware requirements, licensing fees, upgrade and maintenance charges, the overall cost of a SAAS solution is significantly reduced. SAAS solutions can also be available as free trials initially, further reducing the costs for the business owner.
  5. Free trials: As mentioned earlier, SAAS solutions are increasingly being offered with a free trial period. These free trials allow the business owner to experience the solution first hand and make an informed decision about if the solution is suited for his business, and if he should make a long-term investment in it. On-premise solutions usually offer only a snapshot of what is available and require the business owner to make a commitment before he can get the whole picture. This could at times mean failed investments as the solution may not fit the business requirements completely.
  6. Customization: With on-premise solutions the business owner can get a customized solution tailored to suit his unique business requirements. The solution provider can make significant modifications to the product and guarantee a perfect fit for the business. However, this may involve additional costs and longer time to deployment. SAAS solutions, on the other hand, may not always render themselves to customization, leaving the business owner dissatisfied with his purchase.
  7. Internet connectivity and performance issue: As SAAS solutions are provided via cloud, your internet availability and speed may hamper the overall performance of the solution. In-house servers and applications usually guarantee greater speed and performance, thereby making on-premise solutions a better option. However, SAAS providers are increasingly overcoming the reliance on internet, and some solutions can now be accessed even when offline or at slower internet speeds.
  8. Data security: As on-premise solutions use in-house servers and other hardware, the concerns of data security are greatly reduced. The business owner has more control over his solution and greater knowledge of who has access to data, or who it is being shared with. In comparison, SAAS solutions are hosted over the cloud and storing sensitive data on third-party servers can be a risky proposition. However, SAAS providers are seen to be increasingly working on reducing these security concerns, and SAAS solutions are now beginning to be a lot more secure than previously imagined.

While each type of solution has its advantages and disadvantages, the Ignify eCommerce solution attempts to reduce the gap between the two, and is available both as a SAAS as well as an on-premise solution, and guarantees complete customer satisfaction in both cases.

Irrespective of whether you are an on-premise or SAAS customer, the Ignify eCommerce solution can be easily installed/deployed, store data securely, provide regular upgrades, is customizable, and works both online and offline without compromising the solution’s performance. Based upon your business requirements, we provide you the best solution that is affordable and easy to use. To learn more about our product, please contact ecommerce@ignify.com.

Manasi Kulkarni is a Product Marketer at Ignify. Ignify is winner/finalist of the Worldwide Microsoft Partner of the Year Award in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010, and offers eCommerce, ERP, CRM, Order Management and POS solutions based on the Microsoft Dynamics line of products. Ignify has been included as the fastest growing businesses in North America for seven years in a row by Inc. Magazine and Deloitte in the FAST 500 from 2008 to 2013.