In the process of transitioning to paperless board meetings, or even just collaborative meetings on iPad or Android, finding the best board portal solution for your organization is the most crucial step. But with several choices in the market such as Boardbooks, BoardVantage, BoardPad, and Azeus Convene, it can be difficult to pick one. Thus, it’s important to have checklist that takes into consideration several factors including — but not limited to — cost, security, flexibility, ease of use, and hosting.
Organizations have two options for hosting the solution: cloud or on-premise. Cloud hosting involves a number of virtual servers hosted by a third-party cloud service provider (CSP), while on-premise hosting involves an organization’s own servers and internal networks.
There’s a strong buzz around cloud computing, and it’s easy to see why. Cloud hosting is cost-efficient because it does not require organizations to invest in additional IT infrastructure. They have to pay for only what they use, and they never have to worry about maintenance. CSPs will take care of that aspect, leaving organizations more time to focus on growing their business.
But there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of enterprise hosting. One organization may find the cloud to be a better choice, while another will benefit more from an on-premise solution. You need to assess your organization’s business needs before making a decision because there are advantages and disadvantages for either option.
So how do you choose between cloud vs on-premise hosting? To know what works for your organization, consider the following factors along with these pros and cons:
|Your organization will pay licensing fees to use the software. Depending on the CSP, payment terms can be pay-as-you-use, pay-per-month, pay-per user, etc. However, subscription fees can increase after a few years.||Your organization will pay licensing fees to own the software. Payment is given upfront, so you can expect a fixed price.|
|Your organization will need to invest in high-speed Internet connection to maximize the functions of the cloud.||Your organization will have to provide its own servers, hosting, backup, internal network connection, Internet connection, and all other kinds of hardware and software as needed.|
|Customization is limited, and is dictated by what the CSP allows.||Customization is in-depth to suit the exact needs of your organization.|
|Implementation||Implementation time is usually quick because the CSP will handle everything.||You will have to wait for the IT staff to complete the integration, which can take a while depending on the complexity of the IT infrastructure.|
|Your CSP will handle majority of the IT support as part of their service.||Your organization will have to create a team of dedicated IT staff to address maintenance and support issues.|
|As long as you have Internet connection, you can access your data, e.g. board packs, using a mobile device.||You have to go through client servers or terminal servers like Citrix to access your data on a mobile device, unless your organization exposes the service to the Internet.|
|There are more risks in accessing data using the Internet. Your organization has to choose a CSP that offers reliable security.||Because data is stored on location and is only accessible internally, there are fewer security risks involved. Also, your organization can make access as restricted as possible.|
As you can see from the table, cloud hosting is a more ideal option for startup companies that have a great need for flexibility at a lower budget, while on-premise hosting is typically a better choice for established companies with existing IT infrastructure that can support the services they need.
Fortunately, there are useful meeting apps that support both cloud and online hosting, and one of them is our own app, Azeus Convene. It’s a cross-platform board meeting platform used for facilitating the whole mobile meeting process, from sending meeting invitations to archiving post-meeting files.
We can implement Azeus Convene as an on-premise solution to allow organizations more control over their data. We give them their own dedicated web portal running on their own server to ensure a high level of security for their board packs and other meeting-related documents.
But for organizations that want to take advantage of the mobility of cloud hosting, we build them a dedicated web portal on top of secure cloud hosting.
Whether your organization goes for cloud or on-premise hosting, you’ll still get to enjoy Azeus Convene’s enterprise-grade security features such as multiple authentication processes, access right control, audit trail, and auto-purge for lost devices.