Cloud vs. On-Premises Communications [Infographic]

By: Chris Kadoun
April 29, 2024

Even though there are a wealth of blogs online titled, “The best communication solution for businesses,” there’s really no such thing. Every business is different, and the solution that will bring in more ROI for one might be an unnecessary expense for another. But that doesn’t mean your decision has to be complicated either! 

One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether your communication solution will be located at your facility or hosted in the cloud. To make that part easy, we created the following infographic…


What Is Best for Your Business — Cloud or On-Prem Phone Systems?

Let’s explore a few key points in greater detail. After all, if you’re going to make a big switch — say, to a cloud communication solution — it should be worth the investment...and then some!

Ownership and Investment

Back in the day, we used to talk about the difference between cloud and on-premises solutions like leasing versus buying a car. In the cloud, you’ll make consistent monthly payments and receive routine maintenance. If you go with an on-premises solution, you’ll pay more upfront, but depending on the way your business communicates, you could save more money over time. 

That’s still true, but being able to maintain and secure an on-premises system might require time that your IT team no longer has to give. There are a few workarounds you might consider, and we’ll get to that shortly. But IT time is expensive, and sometimes that changes the math. Additionally, if you offer hybrid or remote work or you’d like to offer more flexibility to your staff, cloud voice makes that much easier. 

Implementation and Hosting

Cloud-based solutions are hosted off-site at a secure data center. On-premises solutions are located in your business's facility or data center. 

It’s easy to assume that switching to a cloud solution might make implementation faster, but we’ve found that the two services require a similar amount of time. 

Pro tip: If you know you need to upgrade your communication systems, it’s best to start planning at least six months ahead of time!

ROI and Scalability

Because on-premises solutions are purchased outright, your ROI typically increases over time. However, scaling up or down will probably require purchasing and storing additional hardware. Cloud solutions maintain a consistent ROI, and there are no additional or surprise costs for software updates or maintenance. Scaling a cloud-based solution up or down is as simple as a few keystrokes, and you can add and remove features in a few clicks.

Management, Connectivity, and IT Support


Cloud voice solutions of any kind require a reliable, high-speed internet connection, which can still present a challenge for businesses in certain areas of the country. In that case, you may be best served through an on-premises system, no matter what all the blogs say. 

And if your IT team isn’t thrilled about managing and maintaining it, we can actually take that off their plate.

Pinpointing the Communication System that’s Best for Your Business

Communication tools can be really difficult to compare if you’re just looking at lists of pros and cons or features and benefits! Our experts got together with some website folks and put together an interactive tool that can recommend the best system for you when you answer ten simple questions.

Click the link below to access it!

What Communication Technology Is Right for Your Business? Take the Quiz


Topics: Cloud Services