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Comparing Two Main Deployment Options for ERP Systems: On-Premises and Cloud ERP

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have become vital tools for businesses to enhance productivity, streamline processes, and promote growth. However, there are two main deployment options for ERP systems: on-premises and cloud. The difference between these two deployment options is often a point of confusion for businesses that are considering an ERP system. Today, we will discuss the two major deployment options available for ERP systems: on-premises and cloud-based ERP (including Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hosted cloud).

On-Premises ERP

On-premises ERP is the traditional method of deploying an ERP system, wherein the software is installed and run on computers within the organization’s physical location.


  • Control: Businesses have full control over the system and data, as they manage the software, hardware, and infrastructure.
  • Customization: On-premises solutions offer more room for customization to adapt to specific business needs.


  • Cost: Implementing an on-premises ERP solution involves a substantial initial capital expenditure for software licenses, hardware, and infrastructure.
  • Maintenance: The business is responsible for maintaining the software, handling updates, and troubleshooting issues, necessitating a dedicated IT team.
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Cloud ERP

Cloud ERP refers to the hosting of ERP software on remote servers, which can then be accessed via the internet. Two popular cloud ERP subcategories include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and hosted cloud.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

SaaS ERP is an application provided over the internet on a subscription basis. The vendor manages the infrastructure, software updates, and security.


  • Affordability: SaaS ERP solutions are cost-effective, as there is no need for initial investments in hardware or software. Businesses only pay a subscription fee.
  • Automatic updates: The SaaS provider manages updates and ensures businesses always have the most current version of the software.


  • Data control: Data is stored off-site with the SaaS provider, which could be a concern for businesses with sensitive data.
  • Dependency on internet: SaaS ERP systems require a constant internet connection, which could be an issue in areas with connectivity challenges.

Hosted Cloud

Hosted cloud ERP refers to the hosting of ERP software on third-party servers, often managed by hosting providers.


  • Scalability: Hosted cloud ERP solutions can be scaled up or down to meet business requirements.
  • No hardware costs: The hosting provider manages the infrastructure, which eliminates the need for in-house hardware.


  • Limited customization: Hosted cloud ERPs may offer limited customizations as compared to on-premises systems.
  • Potential latency: Connectivity issues may lead to latency in hosted cloud ERP setups.
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The Importance of Deployment Method Choices in ERP for Businesses

The deployment method of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system plays a pivotal role in transforming business processes. It has a direct influence on various aspects such as the total cost of ownership, support, physical space requirements, maintenance responsibilities, and data security. This article explores why the choice of ERP deployment is crucial to businesses.

Cost Consideration

The initial and long-term cost of the ERP system can significantly differ based on the deployment method.

On-premise systems often require a hefty upfront investment, covering software licenses, server hardware, and infrastructure setup. There could be further long-term costs associated with in-house IT support, system maintenance, and necessary upgrades.

On the other hand, cloud-based deployments generally involve a subscription-based pricing model with lower initial costs, eliminating the need for a significant capital investment. However, over prolonged periods, the cumulative cost of subscriptions can be considerable.

Determining the total cost of ownership (over a period of 3-5 years) for both models can help businesses arrive at a decision.

Support and Space Requirements

The choice of deployment also affects the type of support needed and the physical space required.

With on-premises, the responsibility for technical management and troubleshooting rests on internal IT teams. This requires adequate expertise within the organization, plus physical space to house servers and hardware.

In the case of cloud deployments, the ERP vendor or third-party hosting provider typically manages technical support, infrastructure, and software updates, negating the need for in-house specialized staff and physical servers.

Maintenance Responsibilities

System maintenance is another critical component influenced by the deployment choice.

An on-premises setup requires organizations to handle all maintenance work, from hardware upkeep and software updates to troubleshooting and system enhancements.

Conversely, in a cloud-based environment, the service provider typically manages updates, security patches, and system enhancements, liberating businesses from these responsibilities.

Data Security

While both deployment options can provide sturdy security measures, the responsibility and control over data security differ.

On-premises deployments give a company complete control over their data and security. Organizations can establish security protocols aligning with their specific standards. Yet, it places the onus on them to update and manage security measures.

More so, cloud-based ERP vendors prioritize data security, as it’s integral to their business model. They invest heavily in state-of-the-art security measures, ensuring data is protected against breaches. However, cloud storage does involve trust in an external party to secure sensitive business data.

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How to Choose the Right Deployment Method for ERP in Your Business?

Choosing the right deployment method for Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is critical, as it can impact overall business operations and efficiency. The two main deployment models – On-Premises and Cloud ERP – each have their advantages and potential drawbacks. This guide aims to provide a roadmap to identify which option is the best fit for your business.

1. Analyze Your Requirements

First, outline clear objectives of what you need your ERP solution to achieve. Do you need it for better integration, improved functionality, real-time data access, or all of these? Understanding your business’s current and future requirements will narrow down the potential fit of an ERP solution.

2. Consider Your Business Size and Growth Projection

For small to medium enterprises (SMEs), cloud ERP might be the most beneficial due to lower upfront costs, rapid deployment, and the ability to scale resources as per growth.

For larger corporations dealing with complex operations or specific industry compliance needs, an on-premise ERP solution offers better control and room for customization.

3. Evaluate Financial Resources

On-premises ERP systems usually require a hefty upfront investment in hardware, purchasing the software, and installation. On the other hand, cloud ERP systems involve recurring costs over time, as they usually function on a subscription-based model. Assess your financial situation and cash flow before deciding.

4. Consider IT Resources

On-premises ERP systems need a dedicated IT team to manage and maintain the system. If you lack such resources, opt for a cloud ERP solution, which reduces your need for extensive in-house IT infrastructure as the vendor handles updates and maintenance.

5. Assess Your Data Security Needs

While both systems can support robust security, with an on-premises solution, businesses have complete control over their data. For industries dealing with highly sensitive data, this might be a deciding factor. On the other hand, with cloud ERP, although data is stored remotely, most vendors prioritize high-level security as a fundamental part of their offering.

6. Factor in Integration and Customization Needs

If your business requires deep integration with existing systems or extensive customization, on-premises ERP might be more suitable. In comparison, cloud ERP platforms often offer standardization with less flexibility for deep customization.

7. Scalability

If you foresee rapid growth or regularly fluctuating needs in your business, then the ability to scale your ERP solution quickly and cost-effectively is important. Here, cloud solutions often score over on-premises due to their inherent ability to scale resources on demand.


The process of choosing the correct ERP deployment method is a strategic decision that can significantly impact the productivity and efficiency of your business. It warrants a careful analysis of your organization’s current needs, future growth, and available resources. You should also consider factors like ongoing costs, maintenance, integration, security, and flexibility.

By scrutinizing both on-premises and cloud ERP on these grounds, businesses can ensure that the chosen system aligns well with their operational needs, strategic objectives, and financial realities. Ultimately, the ERP deployment method chosen should help a business streamline processes, make informed decisions, and drive growth.

About Multiable:

At Multiable, we deliver a robust, comprehensive ERP solution engineered to revolutionize your business tactics and escalate your operational prowess—effectively enhancing your revenue potential. Boasting a substantial presence in Asia and a legacy spanning over thirty years, we relish the unwavering confidence our clients place in us as a leading purveyor of ERP solutions. Our skilled team of professionals is dedicated to provide continuous support throughout the entire implementation phase, assuring a smooth and efficient transition. Get in touch with us today to unlock unmatched potential in your organization and set yourself apart in your industry.

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