On-Premise versus SaaS: Why should you have to choose?

For an eCommerce business, deciding what kind of software you use to run your site can be a complicated task. When it comes to deciding how you should manage your web presence, there are pros and cons that come along with both developing and managing your eCommerce Solution On Premise, and choosing to host externally with a SaaS provider. 

However, it is also possible to get the best of both worlds when you find a SaaS solution that can offer the conveniences that come along with hosting, in addition to the benefits of in-house development. 

1. Access to Developers
When a company chooses to use in-house development resources it is typically because they want the flexibility to customize their solution, so an On-Premise product is a good fit.  The business also may find that their in-house developers need assistance creating the ideal solution, so they can easily outsource tasks to a third party development team. 

If customization on your own terms is something you determine your business needs, then an On-Premise solution  is a good fit for that need.

One potential problem with this approach is that the business can become to dependant on the developer(s) who customized the code for ongoing technical support. It can become difficult to support the application, determine the source of the problem, and who is responsible for fixing it. 

This scenario leads to one of the most valuable aspects of a SaaS solution: the ability to have people who can be referred to for help or to answer questions. 

If the site is down or experiences issues, you business can be negatively impacted by a damaged reputation and lost revenue

2. Outsource the heavy-lifting

Daily tasks associated with site maintenance can be numerous and burdensome for a busy site. If you have an in-house team, they can certainly stay on top of any issues and perhaps even prevent them from happening in the first place. However, is that the most effective use of time for experienced development resources?

An in-house team may have more important priorities than the usual daily maintenance, so the option to outsource this maintenance is another way to save your company time and money. A SaaS solution is a cost-efficient way to make your investment in your eCommerce solution count, allowing your developers to focus on aspects of the site that will provide you the most ROI.

3. Security

An On-Premise eCommerce solution can potentially cut operating expenses, however it also inherently opens your business to security risks.  If you decide to house your own server, there are many responsibilities that you must consider in order to ensure that your data and platform are safe. 

Hackers and people who have access to the server itself represent potential threats. An office break-in can even come in to play. There is a lot at stake in ensuring you are doing everything correctly.

With a SaaS, you are giving this burden to a team of people who specialize in it. They have the resources and means to mitigate risks and provide PCI compliance features.

4. Scalability

When your in-house team is responsible for building and maintaining your site, you are better able to dictate feature development and adapt to new opportunities and challenges that are specific to your business.

With a SaaS solution, new features and enhancements to the system are handled by the host and updates (including security) are provided at regular intervals (releases) according to their schedule.


The key advantages of a SaaS solution are lower cost of entry, integrations and scalability, while an On-Premise solution gives you complete control of the platform. 
The key question is where do you want your development team to focus their time and energy (assuming you have a development team)? If you want to remove them from burdensome maintenance tasks, and free up their time to focus on bigger projects, then a SaaS solution is likely your answer. 

If you want to be complete control of all aspects of your site, and not be limited by a third-party arrangement, then an On-Premise solution makes more sense.

Why choose?

It is possible to merge the conveniences of both a SaaS and On-Premise option into one ideal solution.

With a platform like Slatwall Commerce that is designed to be customized and is also backed by an experienced development team, you can have the best of both worlds.

With Slatwall’s SaaS option, Slatwall24, it is possible leverage your internal development resources to make customizations based on your specific business requirements. And, if you do need help creating a new site feature, the Slatwall development team can take the lead,

Your site can also be hosted by the team supporting the application, leveraging their expertise in security and site maintenance.  

In the end, you can create a custom SaaS solution, using both internal and external developers, that can scale and grow with your business requirements and allow you to react to new market opportunities.

For more information about implementing a hosted eCommerce Solution  for your business, click here!  

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