The Titans’ Battle: CRM On Premises vs. Cloud CRM. Who Wins?

CRM Consultant, ScienceSoft

5 min read

Editor’s note: In this article, Andrew discusses the differences between on-premises and cloud CRM platforms. If you are in need of choosing between these two deployment methods, ScienceSoft’s CRM consultants are here to help.

Comparison of on-premises and cloud CRM

The persisting question remains: on-premises or cloud? Many a mind has put their cognitive efforts to find the answer across all kinds of IT solution sectors, and the CRM world hasn’t been an exception. Regardless, no answer has been found so far. The truth is that this matter, as pretty much anything, is not all black-and-white: there are numerous shades of grey, so let’s dive in the issue and see where cloud and on-premise CRMs have their strong sides.

CRM on premises vs. in cloud: comparison

There’s really no point comparing on-premises CRMs to their cloud-based counterparts in terms of the features they offer. The true difference lies in technical details as well as associated costs and efforts.

Comparison chart of on-premises and cloud CRM


Given all this, you can see that on-premises CRM solutions provide you with a great freedom of actions regarding the security of your data, the compliance of your software, etc. However, that comes at a price of having to do all the work on your own. Cloud CRMs, in their turn, take that load off your shoulders while also taking some of the freedom away.

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What companies choose depending on their size

Some say that small and medium-sized companies choose cloud CRMs more eagerly because of the ability to skip upfront infrastructure-related payments, while large organizations stir towards on-premises solutions because they can afford to pay those without trouble. However, we see that the choice always depends on all the factors put together and examined in detail in each particular situation, so there are large companies that gladly opt for cloud CRMs and medium-sized companies that prefer on-premises.

What do market-leading CRM platforms offer: cloud or on-prem?

According to Gartner Magic Quadrant 2020 for CRM vendors, the leaders on the market are Salesforce, Pegasystems, ServiceNow, Oracle, Microsoft and Zendesk.

Half of these CRM vendors offer both cloud and on-premises versions of their CRM software (Pegasystems, Microsoft and Oracle). The rest win their shares of the market with an exclusively cloud offering. But even Pegasystems, Microsoft and Oracle seem to promote their cloud software with a lot more “jazz” than their on-premises versions.

What ScienceSoft believes to be the present and future of CRM

Here at ScienceSoft we believe that the shift towards cloud has already happened. We see it in the share of cloud CRM projects that we run as well as in the share of cloud-related CRM requests that come in from the market. And you can see it for yourself in the tendencies of market-leading CRM vendors: all of them bet on cloud.

Besides common advantages of cloud (scalability, security, flexibility, etc.), we also should note that cloud CRMs prove much handier when it comes to the wide-spread remote work imposed by quarantines and lockdowns, as 2020 has shown. This in no way means that on-premises CRM solutions can’t support your home-based workforce, though. It is only to say that in such cases on-prem CRM solutions require far more additional maintenance effort on your side regarding, for instance, VPN throughput and security.

Still, this does not mean that we advocate using cloud-based CRMs in all cases for our customers. Each specific case needs consideration, so if you want to find out what deployment method is better for your org, let us know. We’ll be happy to help.

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