If you’ve decided that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the right solution for your organisation, the next big decision revolves around how to deploy it. When it comes to hosting you will need to compare using Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premise vs online.
While more than 80% of organisations opt to deploy via the cloud, there are advantages and disadvantages with both options which need to be carefully weighed up. The right choice will depend upon a number of factors including your current IT set-up and support arrangements. As the only Microsoft Partner in the UK that can sell, implement and support the fully Dynamics stack in the cloud, hybrid-cloud and on-premise, we are here to guide you through the advantages and considerations of both routes.
Benefits of Dynamics 365 on-premise
If you take the on-premise solution, your Dynamics 365 software will be hosted on your own servers. The benefit of this solution is that it enables your organisation to maintain all data in-house, so you have complete control.
This means you can:
- Utilise your existing investments in hardware and IT infrastructure as well as in-house personnel.
- Benefit from flexible access to your CRM, as no fast internet connection is required.
- Retain complete ownership and control of your data.
- Avoid the possibility of cloud data storage costs in future.
- Retain full control of when upgrades are applied so manage workloads and potential disruption.
There are a number of factors you should take into account before deciding on the on-premise route.
- Your ability to maintain the software. With the Dynamics 365 on-premise solution, you would be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the software. This means your teams need the knowledge and skills to know how to do this, and you need to factor in the time they will require to keep Dynamics 365 up-to-date. How will this affect the operational running of your organisation?
- Future-proofing. Because Microsoft is driving towards an entirely cloud-based solution this could eventually put you at a disadvantage in being unable to access particular tools and services. This should not be a major concern, however, as it’s likely there will be a straight-forward cloud migration service to reduce the pain for on-premise customers.
You should also be aware that there are some Dynamics 365 online capabilities which are not available with on-premise. These include:
- Integrated Web portals – integrated self-service portals for customers, partners and employees
- Voice of the Customer surveys
- Dynamics 365 for Marketing and Dynamics 365 for Talent
- Embedded intelligence capabilities (AI)
- Market Insights
If you would like these features now, or think you may in future, then an online solution is likely to be preferable.
Benefits of online
Hosting Dynamics 365 software in the cloud is perhaps a simpler approach as it means less maintenance of in-house servers and hardware. Plus, you don’t need to worry about hardware issues or data loss, as your software support is hosted off-site by Microsoft. To access the data and tools housed within your CRM, you need nothing more than an internet connection.
Microsoft Dynamics online also gives you:
- The ability to implement quickly without in-house IT resource or hardware expense.
- Ongoing product development with weekly updates and two major annual feature releases.
- Cost-effectiveness as there are no upfront licence costs and you have a predictable monthly subscription.
- Access to a greater range of features and services, including PowerBI for reporting and analytics.
- The benefits of machine-learning. Because the cloud solution stores and processes data, it learns from it too.
- Access from any device with an internet connection – to all your documents, processes, dashboards etc
- Internet access. Because your software will be hosted off-site, you will need a reliable internet connection to use it.
- You may face additional costs for data storage, depending on your needs. The cloud is still likely to be more cost-effective than paying for new hardware to create more data storage space, but it’s something you will need to take account of at the outset.
What to do next
The right approach will depend on the needs of your organisation. Our specialist team is here to help and advise you, so that you make the right decision for the long-term. To discuss Microsoft Dynamics 365 on-premise vs online in more detail, please get in touch.