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Comparing Cloud vs. On Premise for Workforce Management Software

February 24, 2011

A recent study from Monet Software compares the cloud-based and the on premise software model, illustrating “how the different models would impact the cost, implementation, usage and success of the Workforce Management solution in your organization.”

Set up and implementation. Cloud: Fast set up, vendor creates new account. Users access the solution through a web browser. On Premise: Takes time to purchase, install and configure both the hardware and software.

Score one for cloud there.

Upfront investment. Cloud: No upfront investment for software/hardware. Subscription fee typically includes support, maintenance and upgrades. On Premise: Large upfront investment for hardware and software, installation, configuration and implementation.

Be sure to check the ongoing subscription fee to see which works for you here.

Operating costs. Cloud: Shared services infrastructure dramatically reduces the cost for operating and maintaining servers. On Premise: Running your own server operation, including back ups, maintenance, upgrades and hardware replacement result in higher costs.

If you’re a larger operation, on premise might make more sense. SMBs are usually willing to pay for somebody else to manage the stuff for them.

Scalability and performance. Cloud: Multi-tenant architecture and "elastic cloud computing" platform allows for maximum scalability of data-intensive scheduling scenarios. On Premise: The purchased/installed server(s) in your environment limit the scalability and performance of installed software.

Is scalability a huge issue for your company? Be honest now.

Software upgrades. Cloud: Automated upgrade procedures ensure customer are always on the latest version without the need for manual upgrade procedures. On Premise: Upgrading software is often postponed due to the vast effort and costs. New features to improve scheduling won’t get implemented.

This is another win for cloud, as the upgrades are no hassle at all -- minimal downtime if any.

Investment risk. Cloud: Lower risk - if the customer is not satisfied with the solution they might be able to cancel the agreement or switch to another vendor. On Premise: Higher risk through a huge upfront investment that "locks" customer in, even if the solution ends up not meeting the their needs.

Maybe -- be sure to carefully check the escape clauses for the cloud option you’re looking at, some are onerous and very difficult to get out of.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

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