Put simply, Cloud ERP means that a company can access its ERP software via a web browser from any location with Internet access. With the On-premise ERP, a company must keep all of the IT infrastructure required to run the software onsite (or a data centre).

Below is a comparison based on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central on-premise and cloud versions

Benefits of using a Cloud ERP

COST REDUCTION. With no IT Infrastructure or data centre costs, companies can make cost savings on any initial outlay and ongoing server refreshes. The cloud vendor, in this case, Microsoft, is responsible for complying with best practices from both a security and maintenance aspect.

MOBILE COMPATIBILITY. Most modern Cloud ERP solutions will be mobile compatible, whether this is the use of a mobile app, or easy accessibility via a web browser. All you need is a device with access to the Internet to update records on the move from any location – perfect for remote working!

ACCESS LATEST UPDATES. With an active subscription for 365 Business Central SaaS, you’ll always have access to software updates, therefore always on the latest and greatest version available.

FASTER IMPLEMENTATION. Getting set up with the basics is much faster than before – once your core system has been set up additional functionality can be easily added in the form of extensions.

SCALABLE MODEL. Business Central has been designed for growing businesses. So when you are ready to scale there is an array of extensions available from AppSource, while others may require additional project work from your support partner.

MICROSOFT ECOSYSTEM. Being part of the Microsoft ecosystem means Business Central integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft Apps. From Outlook to Teams in the cloud and Dynamics 365 CRM to 365 Sales – you get a slick user experience wherever you access Business Central

Benefits of using an On-premise ERP

Although there is an ultimate drive to the cloud, an on-premise ERP solution can still have its place.

DATA CONTROL. Some businesses prefer to keep complete control of the data they store and process to run their business. Hosting your own server means you are in full control, this includes data backup and recovery processes too.

REDUCING LONG TERM COSTS. The initial set up costs for IT and infrastructure means the long term gain of purchasing ERP software upfront may outweigh monthly subscription costs. It’s worth noting though, without an ongoing support package access to software updates or patches – you may be leaving your system open to security risks.

JOURNEY TO THE CLOUD. Moving from Dynamics NAV to a fully cloud-hosted solution can be a daunting prospect. An interim solution for you may be to move to Business Central on-premise which will make the move to the cloud much easier in the future.

FAST NETWORK ACCESS. In most circumstances, a user will work at a fixed workstation connected to the same internal network as the server your software is hosted on – this means the software works as quickly as any other desktop application. However, should you require to allow your team to work remotely, then you will need to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to allow secure access to the server – this will most likely result in a slower connection.

SOFTWARE UPDATES. When an ERP system has been heavily customised, having an on-premise solution means you are in full control of software updates. You will have time to test and deploy any major software updates at a time that suits your business.

Why we recommend a Cloud ERP

At Turnkey, we listen to what our customers really need their ERP system to do and work with them to ensure they have a scalable solution. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central SaaS has been designed for the future.

Business Central SaaS also comes with a licence for Power BI. Power BI offers information dashboards which can be customised to meet the exact need of any business. You can easily embed the dashboards and BI reports in the applications to provide a unified user experience.


Industry 4.0
Business intelligence and the use of AI are at the core of where the Microsoft ecosystem is heading. No matter what size your business is, the use of automation to power efficiencies is ready now.

In sectors such as manufacturing, robotics and automation are becoming more and more commonplace. As a result, the need to have smart software applications like Business Central that integrate with such technologies is vital.

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Post by Sooz Kinsella

Sooz has worked at the core of innovation in software technology for over 20 years. Her passion lies in delivering great customer journeys and automating processes.