You've decided that spreadsheets are no longer sufficient for budgeting and forecasting, and you've gone off in search of a better method.
Having decided to invest in enterprise performance management software (EPM), you're now left with the pressing choice of whether to implement on-premises or cloud-based software. Before investing in a software platform, you need to determine the platform that's best for your business today - and in the future. You need to take into account the expected growth in your business and changes in complexity. And you need to consider the availability of IT resources to support your system.
The Limitations of On-Premises Software
On-premises EPM software is certainly an improvement from spreadsheets. It offers a centralized database, process management and tools which can increase the accuracy of your plans and forecasts. Nonetheless, it does present a number of limitations.
1. The implementation process: On-premises software is costlier than cloud-based software, which is further complicated by the time-consuming and tedious implementation process. Implementation of on-premises EPM software ranges from 6 to 12 months, which delays your time to benefit.
2. Reduced autonomy: With on-premises EPM, you'll be relying on your IT department to implement and maintain the software, which results in decreased autonomy and increased costs of management.
3. Maintenance: Maintaining on-premises software is inevitably time-consuming. You need to apply patches and manage release updates of the software manually, which can be costly and consume more IT resources.
4. Decreased accessibility: With on-premises software, all employees have to be connected to the corporate network or have VPN access to connect to the software, which inevitably constrains the locational flexibility of the technology.
Though on-premises software will provide you with more control and accuracy than spreadsheets, many companies are finding that it doesn't provide the the flexibility and agility that growing businesses need.
Cloud-Based Software Can Help Your Business Grow
Cloud-based EPM software can solve all of the same problems as on-premisese software, while providing you with more agility and value than an on-premises software. Cloud-based EPM software eliminates connectivity problems by being accessible from any location and across all devices. It's also much faster to implement, allowing your business to leverage EPM technology within 3 to 6 months, so your business can transition more quickly. Cloud-based EPM software provides your business with greater autonomy by eliminating your reliance on internal IT, instead being managed completely in the cloud.
Both implementation and maintenance costs are reduced with the cloud, so your company can allocate your funds to more critical areas of business. Security is also enhanced, as you will eliminate on-premises data loss and enhance your disaster recovery plan. Another key benefit of cloud-based EPM is that it gives you continual access to the latest software updates. New updates are added typically quarterly, and these updates are automatic, eliminating the need to purchase or install updated software applications.
When switching from spreadsheets to EPM software, your business needs to determine whether on-premises or cloud solutions are a better fit. On-premises software is rapidly becoming outdated, since the cloud provides all the same functions with a lower cost of ownership and easier maintenance. For growing businesses, the cloud offers an ideal platform for storing and managing company data, while improving the efficiency of your business.
To learn more about the advantages of cloud-based EPM software check out our free white paper "EPM in the Cloud".