Softdocs Cloud Series | Cost

Hannah Goodwin

Hannah Goodwin

Today is the fourth and final day of our cloud series! If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out our posts about securityjob security and accessibility. Today’s post is digging into the misconceptions around the cost of cloud deployments, and what to take into account when comparing the price points of cloud and on-prem solutions.


There are many misconceptions around the cost differences between cloud and on-prem deployments. Much of this ranges from the idea that an institution owns an on-premises solution once their initial investment is made. Seeing that cloud-based solutions are subscription-based, this can appear to cost more long-term with the idea that the software is never really that of the customer’s.

A common mistake is to strictly compare the five-year cost of owning the software, software license and maintenance for an on-prem solution to the monthly/annual cost for the cloud solution. What this fails to take into account is the cost of employees managing the on-prem solution, as well as the cost of the hardware, servers, storage and more.

Traditionally, it was seen that the cloud provided smaller institutions with the ability to have technology implementations that they wouldn’t have been able to support previously due to lack of IT resources and infrastructure. What we see now is that this option and price point can be appealing to institutions of all types and sizes. It allows schools to do more with the technology, without a large upfront investment while also allowing for smart allocation of resources.

When making an apples to apples comparison of on-prem and cloud, be sure to include all the costs associated with on-prem software solutions including resource hours and materials. For some schools, traditional on-prem deployments may remain a more appealing option. Each institution is different and it’s important to evaluate both options in detail to determine which direction makes the most sense for your team.