If you’re not an IT professional, shopping for a software solution of any kind can be a daunting process. From a technical perspective, you must first address some of the basic considerations, like the type(s) of data being stored and the amount of data storage required. But then the questions become trickier: Should the solution be installed, or vendor hosted? What’s the difference?
Installed (or “on premise”) software refers to software that is installed on an organization’s premise, on a server that is managed and maintained by their own IT department. Alternatively, vendor hosted (or simply “hosted”) software is remotely managed by a third party. In either case, the customer maintains ownership over the software.
We’ve compiled some data on vendor hosted software to help you make an informed decision when choosing software for your organization.
What is a Vendor-Hosted Solution?
A vendor-hosted software solution refers to one which is handled by a third party. Though the customer maintains ownership of the software database, a third party data center is responsible for software maintenance and management, including things like backups and upgrades.
Vendor-hosted software solutions are purchased and installed on a remote server. The cloud enables an organization to access the offsite virtual servers through the internet. It’s a great way to remove the inconvenience and expenses associated with managing servers, security, upgrades and more.
The costs associated with a vendor-hosted solution typically include license, implementation, and hosting/maintenance fees. License fees are charged before implementation begins and grant users initial access to the software. Implementation fees cover any configuration, customization, installation, or training required for the system to be used. Maintenance or hosting fees are incurred throughout the use of the solution and cover things like support, updates, security, backups, and more.
Centurisk uses Amazon Web Service (AWS) servers to host their solutions, which is one of the most highly secured storage servers. With over 80 authorizations from FedRamp, AWS is one of the most trusted cloud computing services.
Organizations that opt for a vendor hosted solution can expect a variety of benefits including:
- Software maintenance fees include any updates to the software, ensuring that any bugs in the system are fixed without additional charge.
- Cloud-based solutions are designed to ensure maximum uptime with fast performance.
- The setup process can be faster than with installed solutions.
- Changing data demands are easily met as a result of the scalability of cloud storage.
- Upgrading software to new versions is seamless, and users do not incur charges for enhancements to any licensed modules.
- Data is secure and safe as a result of daily backups, high levels of security at data centers, and in some cases, built in redundancy.
- Users can access the software from anywhere with an internet connection.
Centurisk customers have 24/7 access to a customer portal with information about our software, and the ability to submit and track support tickets.
Before you toss out your internal servers, there are some challenges associated with vendor hosted software that you should be aware of.
- Due to advancements in technology, maintenance fees may rise over time.
- Vendors have direct access to customer data. Check with your vendor to see what their policies are regarding the protection of data.
- A quick install requires users to accept the software as-is, while customization may require an additional charge, and longer install time.
- Due to virtual servers, it’s hard to know exactly where data is stored. To ease any concerns in this area, your vendor can provide information on their web hosting partner and the location and security of their data warehouses.
When it comes to data storage options, there’s plenty of confusion—even among professionals. Understanding what you’re getting before committing to a software solution is critical, so we want to set the record straight.
Below, we’ve debunked a couple of the most common misconceptions regarding vendor hosted software.
“Vendor hosted solutions are more susceptible to security breaches”
There is always a risk associated when storing data externally, but with cloud storage, most vendors have a high level of security and sophistication.
In fact, moving to hosted software might actually improve the security of data for some organizations. Since large data storage hosting companies have a significant amount of resources, they are generally able to provide levels of security that some organizations may not be able to realize on their own.
“Vendor-hosted solutions are too much money”
With vendor-hosted software, your organization pays just for what it needs, without having to purchase costly hardware to store the application(s).
Cloud services have continuously decreased in cost throughout the years. Additionally, vendor-hosted solutions generally have lower up-front costs than installed solutions.
Better knowledge supports better decision-making
While vendor-hosted or cloud-based solutions have been around for many years now, the topic is still unfamiliar to many people. As a result, there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the cloud based solution conversation.
Understanding the benefits, challenges, and misconceptions about cloud based solutions can help your organization more easily navigate the software solution shopping process. Hosted solutions are a convenient and innovative method for data storage, and can serve as the best solution for organizations of all sizes.
If your organization is looking for a solution with data security, easy implementation processes and scalability, vendor-hosted, cloud-based software may be the right solution.