On-Premise vs. Cloud-based CRM: Take Your Pick!


The recurring war of on-premise vs cloud CRM creates an interesting scenario for vendors and customers alike where the advocates of both designs put forward interesting arguments to justify their choice. Let’s take a closer look!

The Difference

On-premise is considered the traditional way of CRM deployment where you get it installed locally on the client’s own network. Cloud-based CRM, on the other hand, is a few steps ahead in terms of technology where the program and its data is stored in the Cloud and is deployed to the customer via the Internet. This does entail the threat of data being stolen, since cloud technology uses the Internet to work and there tend to be threats present online. However, often businesses prefer cloud CRM over its on-premise alternative since it significantly saves them the hassle and costs of manual deployment. Furthermore, cloud-based CRMs have much more to offer customers than what the vendors can draw from it. Thanks to the SSDs used, that account for all the more value for space nowadays, a cloud-based CRM provides you storage that you had only thought of until now. Along with that, you get the added perks of convenient access to your CRM and hence your data, regardless of where you are on the globe.

Advantages of On-Premise CRM

Although it has already been established that on-premise CRMs entail great hassle and costs, there are businesses who would still prefer on-premise vs cloud CRM type of deployment method. Some of these advantages have been elaborated below:

Greater Customization

The first and foremost advantage of having an on-premise CRM is the high level of customization that it offers. From the architecture to layout as well as individual fields and modules, on-premise deployment method offers a great degree of CRM customization. Furthermore, a vast variety of of applications and CRM plugins are also available in the market, which can be integrated with on-premise CRMs. These CRM integration options tend to increase the functionality of the CRM deployed. This is not to say, however, that a cloud CRM is extremely rigid, allowing little to no customization. Cloud CRM does offer a number of configuration options that would align perfectly with the business processes of the implementing parties. Moreover, a number of CRM vendors offer different cloud options which cater to the needs of various types of businesses of differing sizes and belonging to a wide variety of industry verticals. However, for those businesses who want their CRMs to reflect their individual identities, they should mould their on-premise CRMs as they please.

Control and Ownership of Data

For businesses, or other institutions, that deal in highly sensitive or confidential information, or for businesses that just want increased control over their data, an on-premise deployment method would be the most suitable. This is due to the fact that having on-site servers to host the CRM as well as your own IT staff to maintain the CRM just increases the control on the flow of data of the business. Furthermore, businesses would also have complete ownership of data that is residing in their own servers. However, data stored on on-site servers is still prone to threats such as worms and viruses.

Data Visibility

This is for the businesses that have to keep a stringent eye on where their data is located and being stored. Having full control over the treatment of data is what these businesses would typically desire. Hence, they would keep their data on their own servers, only allowing their own IT personnel to handle their CRM and their own staff to access their data. End-to-end visibility is one of the advantages that an on-premise CRM offers.

Advantages of Cloud-based CRM

Some of the advantages of choosing the Cloud for CRM deployment have already been mentioned, however, for an in-depth analysis into which type of deployment method to choose, it is crucial to know the details. Therefore, the advantages of choosing the cloud over on-premise deployment method are examined below in detail:

Track Data on the Move

A cloud-based CRM rests on the internet, meaning you can track your data from wherever you want. Hence, a cloud CRM provides you with a universal availability that leaves geographical restraints far behind, letting you manage customers on the road, especially with the advent of mobile apps for CRM. Furthermore, online data storage shields you from threats that plague physical media, such as physical damage and depreciation through use.


Although the initial cost incurred for deploying an on-premise CRM would be considerably lower than the costs of subscription paid for a cloud CRM, however, it would not be the only expense of that deployment method. You would require hardware in the form of servers, IT resources and hosting. Therefore, unless if the business in question has abundance of IT resources and hardware, cloud CRM subscriptions might actually cost less than what an on-premise CRM does.


Deployment of on-premise CRM requires hardware in the form of servers as well as human resources in the form of IT staff. Therefore, the capacities offered by on-premise CRMs are limited to a certain extent. Once the business, that has implemented such a CRM, has reached the CRM’s full potential, it wouldn’t be easy to increase the capacity. Additional time, investment in hardware and higher salaries paid to an increased number of IT staff would be the costs of upscaling an on-premise CRM. On the flip side, a cloud CRM offers more flexibility in regards of scalability. In order to increase the capacity available in your cloud CRM, all you have to do is adjust your user license numbers.

Speedy Deployment

Since the fact has already been established that on-premise CRM hosting requires servers as well as IT staff to help in the maintenance of the CRM system, there is another takeaway from this fact. It is of the time that it takes for such a deployment to take place. Hardware purchase as well as hiring of staff can take a significant amount of time, especially if the need for a CRM system is urgent. However, such is not the case with cloud-based CRM systems. What deployment of cloud CRMs actually requires is an internet connection, the payment of subscription and a little time taken to tweak the system according to your business requirements, and then you are good to go!

Security Concerns

Another concern that may arise due to data storage on the cloud is that your data, being accessed through the internet, may be more prone to hacking. However, that is simply not the verdict you can pass against the security strength of a cloud-based CRM, since the data on the local drive of your computer is also “hack-able”. So unless you remove the Internet from your life to guard your data (which is highly unlikely), you are prone to hackers’ attacks no matter which medium you use. In fact, a good CRM vendor, whom you trust, would take better security measures to protect your data than you can take on your own. So it can now be argued that your data is safer on the cloud as compared to the storage you use locally.

Bottom Line

The evolution of technology has brought you systems as intricate as CRM software via the internet, however, with their own sets of conveniences, advantages, as well as disadvantages. For now you are still left with the choice to weigh your alternatives, test the waters and make a decision; but with the rapidly moving software on the SaaS model, you may not have that choice for long. So start working on your choice of on-premise vs cloud CRM.

Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 600 firms with various SugarCRM migration, customization, integrations and support. Contact us today for your FREE Consultation Session. We will be happy to assist you!

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