In the past, all software applications at companies were installed on local computers. Every organization had its own server, which was managed by the IT department. Very simple, you had no choice. That is different nowadays. The traditional 'on-premise' deployment is still an option, but completely in the cloud and hybrid options are becoming increasingly popular. It all depends on your preferences and circumstances. What do you want to have in-house? For which aspects do you want to rely on the expertise of a partner? Below is an overview of the software deployment options you can choose from and the differences.
Does your organization have its own up-to-date servers, sufficient storage capacity and a decent infrastructure? Then an on-premise deployment seems obvious. The software is installed and maintained locally. Your organization (possibly with the help of an ICT partner), takes full responsibility for managing and maintaining the environment, to ensure that the software continues to function properly. This is the right choice for companies that want full control of the environment or that have recently invested in hardware and infrastructure. Does your organization not have the necessary components for a successful on-premise installation? Then the initial purchase costs may be very high, and the alternatives below might suit you better.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) you hand the management of the hardware (servers, server room, etc.) over to a specialized ICT partner. The configuration, maintenance and replacement of the servers is done by your ICT partner. This works great in case you do not have the expertise in-house or if you want to save time. In addition, with IaaS you can opt to no longer purchase the hardware, but pay a monthly subscription fee for the usage. The management of the environment, including the software applications that make use of the infrastructure, is in your hands.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Maximum outsourcing can be achieved with Platform as a Service (PaaS). In a PaaS model, the ICT partner will, in addition to the infrastructure, also takes care of the setup of the platform. Think for instance about the operating system and middleware (e.g. IIS, .NET, SQL, etc.). You do not need to worry about purchasing and maintaining hardware and infrastructure and can easily save time and costs.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Besides outsourcing the management of servers and infrastructure, you can also outsource the management of an application. This is called Software as a Service (SaaS). In this model, the complete management of the environment, which is required to run the application, is controlled by the SaaS provider. Think about infrastructure, operating systems, database, server, backup, etc. You just need to ensure a good internet connection. The SaaS provider is often a different party than the partner you choose for IaaS or PaaS.
There is no standard ROI tool that calculates the best choice for your organization. It depends entirely on the circumstances within your organization and your requirements and preferences. Therefore, carefully map the situation in your organization. Which components and expertise do you have in-house? How do aspects like safety, legislation, flexibility, IT strategy and future plans influence your decision? And of course, what are the costs (initial and periodical) of the deployment options? That way you can take a well-informed decision.
Jean-Pierre Reniers is Technical Consultant at Dysel and supports customers with all technical issues regarding business software applications