On-premises or cloud: the advantages of a SaaS solution

Buy software or subscribe to it as a "service" in the cloud? Logistics companies are also asking themselves this question. Even if their own servers ensure independence, cloud solutions have many advantages for companies.

Having your own server is like having your own water well: At first glance, one is more independent and enjoys more freedom - after all, the well eliminates dependence on the general water supply. Well owners are spared from failures there.

But this freedom comes at a high price, because your own well has to meet high demands. If the whole family wants to take a shower in the morning and the dishes have to be done at the same time, many litres of water are needed in a short time. Because of such peak loads, a powerful water pump is needed even if it normally only has to pump a small amount of water. If a single pump is not sufficient to meet the demand, an additional investment becomes necessary. However, if the water demand decreases because all the children move out at once, the expensive investment was superfluous.

While having your own well increases autonomy, the actual availability of water at the site is often less than with a central water supply. If a local pump suddenly breaks down, it can be difficult to get a repair or replacement quickly. No one wants to go days without fresh drinking water! The big water suppliers, on the other hand, have built redundancy into their systems and have emergency procedures and infrastructure in place to deal with water supply problems quickly and around the clock. For this reason, today's factories rarely have their own water supply infrastructure. Instead, they get their water from municipal suppliers. In this example, they stand for the cloud and the concept of "Software as a Service", or SaaS for short.


When it comes to deciding between an on-premises solution and SaaS, decision makers often only compare the cost of software licenses with the cost of a service subscription. They overlook the fact that licensing costs are only a fraction of the total cost of ownership.

In addition, there are further costs, for example for powerful servers and their maintenance: for local use of software, companies must provide the necessary hardware infrastructure themselves. In order to achieve an availability level similar to that of cloud data centres, this hardware must be redundant on many levels - this concerns servers, hard disks, power supply and more. In addition, robust servers are needed for maximum utilisation, which makes it uneconomical.


System operation also costs money - and time. Administrators have to constantly monitor operations and apply security patches in a timely manner. In general, they have to keep the system software up to date to protect against cyber attacks, for example. For possible failures, additional hardware is also needed to store backups on a regular basis. If data is lost, procedures are needed to restore the backup on new hardware.

Things get complicated when it comes to troubleshooting: Companies usually hire different providers to take care of hardware, system operation and application software. If a problem occurs and it is not clear whether the system software or the application software is to blame, the analysis becomes a very laborious affair involving several parties. The boundaries of responsibility become blurred - in case of doubt, the others are always to blame.


In contrast, with SaaS solutions, companies do not have to worry about hardware, system software, backups and restores - the SaaS provider takes care of everything. If a problem does occur, customers have a responsible contact person they can turn to for troubleshooting. For the SaaS provider, troubleshooting is much easier because all system levels are under their control.

The operation of the SYNAOS Intralogistics Management Platform is also possible on-premises. However, SYNAOS explicitly recommends SaaS and operation in the cloud. There are many more customer benefits in addition to those mentioned: If more capacities are needed quickly, they can simply be added - they are available immediately. Upgrading hardware is not necessary, nor is installing software on additional instances. If less capacity is subsequently needed, the subscription volume can simply be reduced again.


Established cloud providers such as AWS (Amazon), Azure (Microsoft) or Google guarantee extremely high availability levels of 99.5 to 99.99 percent uptime for their basic cloud services. Even with on-premises hardware, this level is very difficult and costly to achieve. Since each layer - i.e., operating system, database, and more - carries an additional risk of failure, the same software application will inevitably have lower availability when installed and running on-premises than when running in a cloud environment.

Another advantage for customers is the high level of support. SaaS providers are, after all, the best experts for their own software - this of course also applies to SYNAOS. Therefore, their 2nd level support usually offers better and more knowledgeable support than an internal or contracted general IT support can provide.

There are many advantages to SaaS and cloud solutions that customers can quickly benefit from. In addition, many reservations prove to be completely unfounded upon closer inspection. So before you dig your own well, let SYNAOS advise you - and convince you.

Dr Wolf Siberski
Dr Wolf Siberski
Head of Architecture
Dr Wolf Siberski

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