Today I am talking about cloud-based solutions versus on-premise solutions.  I am covering a topic that many vendors don’t explain very well – the difference between LICENSING and DEPLOYMENT.  If you are considering new software and trying to compare the pros and cons of cloud versus other options, then stay tuned…

There are many factors to consider when making this decision.  And, despite what some vendors may say, the answer is not the same for everyone!  It is important to understand the difference between LICENSING and DEPLOYMENT.

Today, many software providers combine these and it becomes very confusing.  The first thing you must do when considering these options is be very clear between the two. 

LICENSING is how the software is licensed or purchased.  Every software application is different, so be sure to ask for clarity in this area.  Some solutions enable you to make a one-time lump sum purchase and then have a smaller annual maintenance (that may or may not be required).  This is referred to as the “traditional” model and is most often associated with on-premise solutions.  The other licensing model is to “pay as you go”, often referred to as SaaS – software as a service.  Under this model, you pay a monthly fee that is typically based on users.  Sometimes these require annual contracts and sometimes they don’t. This licensing model is most often associated with hosted solutions. 

The deployment component refers to how and where the software is installed.  Solutions can be deployed on internal servers – referred to as “on-prem or on-premise” or it can be deployed to hosted servers that you own – private cloud or co-located deployment.  Software that is hosted by a vendor and offered in the cloud on shared servers is often “public cloud” and is most often combined with the Software as a Service model.

So when you are considering new software and are trying to decide between cloud, hosted or on-premise options, be sure you know the difference between the LICENSING model and the DEPLOYMENT model for each solution.  One of the safest things you can look for in software today is a solution that gives you the flexibility to license and deploy it the way you want to and allows you to change models when it makes sense to do so.

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