Comparing the Benefits of EAM Cloud vs. On-Premise Systems

EAM Software / September 2019

With modern-day applications, businesses now have the option of choosing between implementing EAM Cloud or EAM On-Premise systems. Whereas, only a decade ago, the most common option for an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system was via a data centre, on-site. But, nowadays, most EAM tools are cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) models. With some even incorporating both on-premise deployment and cloud; a hybrid model. Like other factors in a business, such as managing costs and scalability, implementing an EAM system can be seen as crucial; whether cloud-based or on-premise.

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What are the Benefits of an EAM Cloud System?

Manageable Costs

Perhaps the most significant benefit of an EAM Cloud system is the amount of money you can save upfront. On-premise systems require a substantial initial investment, as you’ll need to purchase and maintain the necessary hardware to run the Enterprise Asset Management software. Cloud EAM applications are also popular with smaller companies, thanks to their low starting costs.

EAM Cloud Applications Allow for Easy Maintenance

With cloud-based enterprise asset management systems, manual upgrades and installation of new features or fixes aren’t required. The vendor takes care of this automatically. This can free up staff to work on other projects and means you can effectively outsource the technical skills associated with the upkeep of EAM. Vendors also carry out updates regularly, to improve software stability. These updates tend to happen overnight as well, which can avoid disruption as much as possible.

Great for Data Security

Thanks to technological developments, keeping essential EAM data stored in the cloud is now a desirable option – as opposed to keeping it within an on-premise EAM system. If the worst should happen, and your physical premises are hit by a natural disaster or power outage, your EAM data wouldn’t be affected. Most cloud-based EAM offers state-of-the-art security tools and supports GDPR compliance. Vendors have experts in place to combat cyber attacks, and many provide 24/7 security monitoring.

What Are the Downsides of Using an EAM Cloud System?

EAM Cloud Software Can be More Expensive

EAM cloud-based applications can end up costing you more than you’d pay for the one-off perpetual licence fee expected with an on-premise solution. Subscription costs can seriously add up if you use cloud-based software long-term. It’s effectively like renting the enterprise asset management system; you’ll never actually own it. When your business expands, your cloud-based software must also grow in capabilities; this may result in extra costs.

Could be Impacted due to Downtime

Software that’s based in the cloud is going to be, at some point, affected by downtime – either scheduled or unplanned. If you can’t log on to run reports or record maintenance activities because the system is down, this will impact on your business operations.

Multi-tenanted Environments may not be Suitable

Many SaaS solutions involve multiple EAM clients sharing the same software. For companies operating with sensitive classes of data, such as those in the defence or aerospace industry, this may present a cause for concern. (Even with the draw of fortress-level security measures in place).

What are the Benefits of On-Premise EAM?

More Customisable than EAM Cloud Solutions

Do you need advanced capabilities or multiple applications to support the functionality for business areas like HR, procurement, and finance? If so, you may find that an on-premise system can offer more in the way of customisations and integrations, compared to a cloud-based model.

Dedicated IT Support

On-premise EAM requires ongoing support from experienced IT professionals. They will be the ones to carry out updates and maintenance activities and will have ultimate control over the systems and the data within.

Data Security can be Handled Internally

Large organisations with a vast amount of assets or organisations with sensitive data may prefer to use an on-premise EAM set-up, to meet compliance requirements or relevant legislation. Having data kept on-site offers peace of mind to those reluctant to hand over control to a third party. On-premise systems may also be less vulnerable to global cyber threats. However, this does depend on the type of security measures selected by the individual company, not to mention the skills and vigilance of in-house IT staff.

Can be Cost-Efficient

Although deploying EAM on-site requires a higher upfront investment, the software may pay for itself over time.

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What is the Downside of On-Premise EAM?

Lengthy Installation process

Aside from high upfront costs, it may take a while to get on-premise EAM up and running. This is especially the case with heavily-customised software. Out-of-the-box cloud-based software, with only core capabilities, is going to be more straightforward to set up and use.

Less Mobile-Friendly than an EAM Cloud Systems

Cloud-based enterprise asset management systems can be accessed from any device that connects to the internet. Whereas, on-premise systems are installed on a company network, on its own servers. This could have implications for maintenance management, as an on-premise system may only be accessed within the facility during working hours.

Cloud-based systems often support photo, video, and scanning tools, which offer a range of efficiencies. For example, field service workers can log maintenance activities remotely, on the fly, as opposed to updating the software when they get back to base. They can do this at any time, no matter their location.

Will an EAM Cloud Application Suit Your Business?

Choosing the right EAM for your organisation is no mean feat. You’ll need to assess your organisation’s requirements, budget, data and scalability concerns first and foremost. Once you’ve determined those needs, you can then explore whether an on-premise or cloud-based solution would be the best fit.

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