On-premises or cloud-hosted RFID software, what fits your business best? Differences and solutions explained.
To better understand the differences between the two options and how they impact the overall RFID system setup, we talked with Paolo Simonazzi, Software R&D Manager at Murata ID Solutions.
What are the main differences between on-premises and cloud-hosted RFID software?
“The main difference between on-premises and cloud hosted software essentially lies in the location of the software solution, in other words where the software is installed. In the case of on-premises the software is hosted on the servers of the organization that uses the software, the IT infrastructure is kept onsite and managed internally.
With the cloud hosting solution on the other hand the software is hosted off-site on the servers of another organization and available for the user via the Internet. This means that the user can access the data through a web browser or mobile app without the need to install the software on the organizations’ local servers and computers. Hosting, updates, and maintenance are in this case managed by the third party.”
Is it correct that cloud hosting allows agility, scalability and cost savings compared to hosting the solution on-premises?
“Since the on-premises software solutions require installation and hosting on local servers within the organization, the upfront costs are without doubt higher than the cloud-based solution where initial costs are considered relatively low due to the fact that no software/hardware installations are needed on-site.
On the other hand, over time the difference in costs is less incisive as cloud-based software normally requires subscription and routine payments for the use and maintenance of the service.
When it comes to agility and scalability, for sure the cloud-based hosting allows its users to quickly decrease or increase the performances, services, storage etc. in order to always suit the business demands and exact business needs to be covered. In comparison, up or downscaling is, without doubt, more difficult and time consuming with on-premises solutions.
With cloud hosting, it is furthermore easier to manage systems where several different players need access to the data. Let me mention an example from the fashion industry where for instance various façons need to access the RFID system. In this case, the cloud-based hosting is ideal as it allows all façons to access the data requested without the need to invest in a hosting environment and installing the software on their own servers. They can for example encode and print RFID tags (just like printing paper tags) without installing and maintaining specific software.”
If cloud hosting is so advantageous, why still consider hosting the software on local servers?
“The on-premises installation can in some cases result more robust and the performances higher. Furthermore, when data privacy and security need to comply with specific requirements and policies, hosting the software on the user’s dedicated local servers can be the best solution.
In strictly regulated industries like healthcare, the transfer of data to third-party cloud systems may not be allowed or otherwise may require specific security certifications. In these cases, it is necessary to store the data locally and leave the organization full control over the system.
Furthermore, in cases where the organization already has its own IT department and IT infrastructure (with routine configuration, management, and security), it might also make sense to choose an on-premises solution.”
What has Murata ID Solutions chosen to provide - on-premises or cloud-based RFID Software?
“We provide both.
The advantages connected to the different hosting solutions are undoubtedly related to the specific business case and the organization implementing the system. In order to correctly evaluate one solution over the other, it is necessary to take into consideration the size of the company deploying (if it is one-site or multiple-site, if it consists of several servers, computers, databases), the complexity and size of the RFID system and the processes to cover (the number of RFID devices and their location in several sites, countries etc.).
Because organizations’ IT infrastructure differ in size and complexity and every RFID project is different, to best suit the specific business needs of each deployment, we have decided to provide both options. This means that our RFID software suite id-BridgeTM can be installed and managed either on-premises or hosted in the cloud.”
In which business cases and for what criteria do you propose one over the other?
“As already mentioned, for simplicity or for compliance, some companies prefer to manage and run all their services on their own infrastructure. In these cases, id-BridgeTM can easily be installed and integrated.
On the other hand, when organizations need it and it best fits the RFID project, id-BridgeTM can be hosted in the cloud and Murata ID Solutions can take care of installation and maintenance, including software upgrades, security patches and hardware maintenance. In this case the responsibility for everything, including maintaining the equipment, storage, security etc is the responsibility of Murata.
As explained, on-premises and cloud-based solutions have different pros and cons, that need to be evaluated singularly in each case. We don’t propose one solution over the other until the RFID project to be developed has been defined. Only then, do we propose the best solution.”