Cloud vs. On-Premise OSS

In this white paper, you will find a breakdown of cloud vs on-premise OSS, what they entail, as well as how they compare.

In 2018, the market for cloud computing was worth $272 billion. However, due to the increased adoption of the technology, the industry is set to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%. Consequently, the cloud computing market is projected to be worth $623.3 billion by 2023.

Further, though only 60% of workloads were running on a hosted cloud service in 2019, 94% of workloads will be processed by cloud data centers in 2021. The increasing popularity of cloud computing is owed to the data integration capacity, flexibility of services, and heightened security it offers.

Symphonica is an easy and convenient orchestration and service activation platform for communication operators seeking to streamline service deployment processes without investing in time-consuming and budget-heavy infrastructure projects.

Before cloud computing, organizations could only rely on on-premise computing to integrate with third-party services. Though cloud computing does come with some unique benefits, it is not necessarily a replacement for on-premise solutions. Many organizations still use on-premise solutions, whereas others use both.

Cloud vs On-premise OSS

On-Premise Computing

As the name suggests, with on-premise computing, the software is hosted on a company’s server and is protected by the internal firewall. For a long time, this was the only option companies’ had when it comes to integrating their codebase with external applications and software.

On-premise computing gives organizations full control over how they integrate with third-party software. However, this also comes with more management needs as matters of maintenance and security are handled internally. Even still, on-premise computing offers peace of mind as you are aware of how your data is being handled. For a company to host software in its servers, the software to be used must first be purchased or licensed.

Cloud Computing

With cloud computing, software is hosted on the servers of a third-party service provider. In this setup, there are little to no management needs as the provider will handle maintenance and security. More importantly, it easy to get started and offers greater flexibility.

Cloud Vs. On-Premise

Other than where software is hosted, on-premise and cloud computing have some differences that should be considered when choosing a solution.


One of the primary differences between on-premise and cloud computing is the level of investment required. With on-premise solutions, greater capital investment is needed. This is because you are required to purchase all the hardware and cater for installation costs. In addition, there will also be additional funds required to maintain the hardware.

Though on-premise computing requires a higher initial capital investment, over the long run, it may prove to be cheaper as there are no monthly subscription fees.

When it comes to setup, cloud computing is easy, fast, and cheap. There are no concerns as to which hardware is ideal or the need to find dedicated personnel to maintain and service hardware. With a monthly subscription fee, your computing needs will be taken care of.


One of the primary objectives of investing in computing resources is the need for increased data processing capacity. However, this also comes with the added responsibility of securing the data. On-premise and cloud computing offer varying levels of security.  This makes them suitable for different sets of data and businesses.

For instance, for organizations that handle sensitive information, an on-premise solution is often preferred. This is primarily due to two reasons; restrictions on who can access the data as well as stringent compliance regulations. This approach is often used in the financial sector and government institutions.

Though on-premise computing comes with the peace of mind that data is hosted on the company’s server, it calls for strict internal security protocols.

Third-party service providers offer high levels of security as well as the added bonus of dedicated professionals to cater to your security needs. However, it is still your responsibility to ensure that they are compliant with relevant data security regulations.


As an organization grows, data processing needs will also increase. Therefore, this growth should be accompanied by increased computing capacity. In this regard, on-premise computing is rather limiting. If you need to scale up, additional investments in hardware and personnel may be required. As such, it is expensive and time-consuming.

On the other hand, it is easy to scale as needed with cloud computing. Since the vendor already has all the hardware in place, you will only be required to pay the relevant subscription fee for increased capacity.

Along with scalability, flexibility is also crucial when it comes to computing. This is because computing needs may rise or fall depending on the time of the year or because of unique circumstances. Since on-premise solutions are challenging to scale up, they do offer a lot of flexibility. However, with cloud solutions, you can scale up or down as needed.


Computing needs often vary from one business to the next. Depending on your unique needs, the ability to customize it to your needs may be necessary. Some of the benefits of customization include the ability to tailor code as needed and a shorter duration for implementation.

For this, on-premise solutions offer greater levels of customization. This is due to the fact software is housed in internal serves where you can easily add or tailor code as needed. However, there are also challenges that come with customization. Any time your vendor updates their software, you may also be required to adjust your code to those updates.

Though cloud solutions do not offer as much in terms of customization, they offer greater levels of stability. Besides, it is also possible to request your vendor for more functionality to suit your needs.                                  


Whichever solution you choose, it is vital that you can rely on it at all times. In this regard, it is easy to opt for on-premise solutions as no internet connection is needed to access your data. Also, since data is stored in in-house servers, you will access it much faster.

However, with improved internet speeds, cloud solutions are just as reliable. Third-party vendors also put in measures to ensure outages are kept at a minimum.

Migrating to the Cloud and Total Cost of Ownership

When it comes to technology solutions, the cost is one of the biggest factors, and infrastructure contributes significantly. However, beyond the infrastructure required, there will also be other costs included in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Therefore it is crucial to do a comprehensive TCO analysis as you choose a cloud solution. There are three key things to consider when conducting a Total Cost of Ownership analysis. These are:

  • Capital expenses- These costs cover all hardware and software needs
  • Operating Expenses- Costs incurred for supports and maintenance needs
  • Indirect costs- Expenses that cover downtime and market delays

Cloud solutions offer a wide range of benefits, but its lower Total Cost of Ownership is arguably the biggest contributor to the migration to cloud solutions.  To begin with, there are no capital costs incurred and minimal, if any, operating expenses. Though it is possible to incur indirect costs, service providers are well-equipped to keep such occurrences at a minimum.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

1.  Mobile Access

There are approximately 1 billion smartphone users in the world. As these numbers continue rising, so will the need to offer mobile access. By migrating to the cloud, it will be easy to offer your team as well as other users, mobile access. This, in turn, will enable your team to work on the go and increase their productivity. 

2.  Recovering Data Is Easy

Today, data is an invaluable resource for organizations. This is why it is crucial to take the necessary steps to secure data. Along with this, you should also back up your data in case it is corrupted. With cloud computing, you will benefit from the already-established disaster recovery solutions.

As such, in case something happens to your data, there will be ready backups for you to use. This will ensure that downtime does not extend for long periods.

3.  Environmental Impact

Natural resource preservation and climate change have become an important subject over the past few decades as the need to adopt more sustainable ways of living and doing business becomes more apparent. By moving to the cloud, you will eliminate the need to invest in hardware and reduce other related wastes such as paper.

4.  Competitiveness

Before the cloud, the only option businesses had when it comes to computing was investing in in-house data centers. However, with the substantial initial investment required for such, only large organizations could capitalize on the benefits of computing.

With the low costs involved with cloud computing, companies of all sizes can now enjoy better data storage and processing capacity. Along with this, they also get a solution that offers agility and is easy to scale.

The Future of Computing

When it comes to computing, it is not a matter of which is better between on-premise and cloud solutions, but which one suits an organization. With both solutions offering unique benefits, many companies are now adopting hybrid solutions. With hybrid solutions, a company can enjoy the benefits of both on-premise and cloud computing.

Symphonica is an easy and convenient orchestration and service activation platform for communication operators seeking to streamline service deployment processes without investing in time-consuming and budget-heavy infrastructure projects.

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