On-Premise vs. Cloud Solutions: What’s the Difference?

On-premise IT solutions are those in which data, applications, and software are powered entirely by in-house computer servers. Cloud-based solutions rely on the internet to…

Man working on a gray laptop in a server room looking to troubleshoot a technology issue.

On-premise IT solutions are those in which data, applications, and software are powered entirely by in-house computer servers. Cloud-based solutions rely on the internet to connect users to third-party servers that power their applications and make data accessible via the so-called cloud.

The emerging positions of on-premise vs. cloud computing have rapidly changed the landscape of global enterprise. In a recent report, Forrester Research forecasted that over 60% of companies will be primarily cloud-based by the end of 2021. If you’re an IT professional or businessperson with growing IT needs, you’re not alone in asking a very topical question – what’s the difference between on-premise and cloud-based solutions? And more specifically, what does it mean for remote access solutions?

What are Cloud-Based Solutions?


Cloud-based solutions are powered by third-party servers, or hosts, in which you connect to your company’s applications via the internet. The cloud is an alternative to the traditional model of operating entirely on-site servers within local area networks.

If we look under the hood of cloud-based software solutions, everything runs through a communication router that is hosted in the cloud. An outbound-initiated connection is established that will traverse firewalls from trusted sources within the network.

Cloud-based software can be installed, updated, and run remotely. While the potential for efficiency and cost management is apparent, many companies are wary of the potential security risks and compliance concerns that may come with cloud-based remote access software. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing.

Advantages of Cloud-Based Solutions


One of the main benefits of cloud vs on-premise solutions is that cloud computing allows for unprecedented accessibility. No matter where you are, you’re able to access your data and applications. With the ongoing rise in work-from-home arrangements, cloud-based remote access software has given companies more flexibility in their operations. This cross-platform connectivity is a big part of what’s driving the popularity of cloud-based solutions.

Another factor that many advocates of cloud solutions point to is cost management. On-premise infrastructure requires large up-front investment and ongoing maintenance. With cloud-based solutions, you only pay for the hosting services you actually use.

We’ll talk about the security concerns of cloud vs. on-premise solutions in a bit. However, if cloud-based software is properly secured, these concerns can be relieved. For example, Impero Connect is securely encrypted so your connection stays private, even when it’s taking place on a public network. Remote access connections can be made using a VPC, or virtual private cloud.

Essentially, you’re able to create a simulated on-premise model, with a higher level of security but without the hassle of maintaining your own server infrastructure.

And when it’s time to establish remote connections for new users, Impero Connect deploys MSI files with secure, unattended install packages that are unique to the user. Authentication processes are protected from open network traffic. As soon as connectivity is established, your security features are already assigned to the new user. This process eliminates a common attack vector that hackers might use to target RealVNC and TeamViewer users.

Disadvantages of Cloud-Based Solutions


Cloud-based solutions often get knocked for leaving companies vulnerable to security risks. In fact, security and compliance are probably the top concern of companies that are evaluating the potential weaknesses of on-premise vs. cloud software models.

Remote access traffic that’s occurring over public internet poses the risk of someone more easily intercepting or hacking their information. And the logic holds up. Given the choice, remote connection activity on a public network, which is the default for remote access tools like LogMeIn, is going to be riskier than doing business within the confines of a secure local area network. But remember, with properly secured remote access software like Impero Connect, these concerns can be alleviated.

What are On-Premise Solutions?

On-premise solutions refer to software being run on in-house infrastructure, powered by computer servers living within the confines of your local area network. But what does on-premise mean for remote access software?

Just because a company employs traditional on-premise IT solutions doesn’t mean they’ve eliminated the need for secure, reliable remote access software. On-premise just refers to where network activity is being hosted, not necessarily where that activity is taking place. In other words, an enterprise that uses on-premise servers can still take advantage of the increased flexibility and efficiency of remote access.

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of on-premise versus cloud-based software solutions.

Advantages of On-Premise Solutions

Here, the advantages of keeping network activity on-premise vs. cloud are primarily about hyper-focused security and complete control.

Even with the advanced security of remote access software, some operators still prefer on-premise solutions out of an abundance of caution. We see this mostly with financial industries, retailers, manufacturing, and cybersecurity in healthcare. The mindset in these industries is centered around compliance. The prospect of a costly data breach creates so great a fear of security concerns that they’d rather steer clear of the cloud, preferring not to have their traffic passing over public networks.

While this concern might not reflect the airtight security built into remote access software, it does open the door to a real benefit of on-premise solutions: total control. While cloud-based providers have advanced their abilities to customize remote access features, there’s no alternative for the complete control offered by in-house infrastructure.

Most companies can benefit from the scalability found in cloud solutions, but some enterprises with really particular configuration concerns feel their best option is to keep things on-premise. Examples might include the IIoT manufacturing sector where vast networks of equipment might already be powered by on-site infrastructure.

Disadvantages of On-Premise Solutions

For most companies, the main disadvantage of on-premise vs. cloud IT solutions is going to come down to cost and scalability. If you don’t already have the infrastructure in place, there’s going to be a major upfront investment needed to obtain the computer servers, labor, and licenses necessary to power your business, especially if you plan on growing rapidly.

For many businesses this sort of capital expenditure is unrealistic. But for some, especially bigger, more established enterprises, eliminating the ongoing operating expenditures of cloud-based solutions makes the upfront cost of on-premise worth it in the long run.

On-Premise vs. Cloud Solutions: Which is Better for Your Business?

There’s no concrete formula for determining which remote access software solution is right for you. Choosing cloud or on-premise solutions both offer plenty of advantages. Here are a few questions you can ask when trying to decide which sort of model is right for your business:

  • Do we have the infrastructure in place to support on-premise solutions?
  • If not, is it worth the upfront investment it would take to build that infrastructure?
  • Does our business have complex configuration, security, and regulatory compliance needs?
  • Is our network of devices and users spread out? Do we often work from outside the confines of our LAN?
  • Would we rather take full responsibility for our infrastructure, for better or worse? Or would we be comfortable outsourcing our hardware needs to IT providers who specialize in remote access?

This last question addresses a major advantage of Impero Connect. Unlike built-in remote desktop protocols that are built by giant corporations offering little flexibility, Impero specializes in self-contained remote access, so you can feel confident that your company is getting the most secure, reliable remote access software designed to fit your needs and minimize the cyberthreats you face.

Secure Your Network with Impero Connect

The healthy debate of on-premise vs. cloud computing will not stop any time soon. And that’s OK. Impero Connect is designed to work with either model in 2022. Whether you maintain your own IT infrastructure or prefer a no-hassle cloud-based solution, Impero has worked to integrate remote access solutions with enterprises across all industries.

The advantage of Impero Connect is fully scalable software that ensures fast, flexible, and secure access from a single interface. For remote access software that will maximize your efficiency, contact us to start your free trial today!

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