Dynamics 365 Online or On-Prem?

If you are thinking about a major business application project like implementing Dynamics 365, the deployment option is going to be a very important consideration for some organizations. Dynamics 365 is designed with choice in mind, and one of the first choices a business needs to make is whether to use Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 platform on-premises or in the cloud. Dynamics 365 supports both, and the cloud seems to be the go-to deployment option for most organizations. However, for certain specific requirements, an on-premise install may be worth considering.  As the Dynamics 365 product continues to evolve, it’s becoming clear that the Online versions are diverging from on premises in functionality because of the massive Azure infrastructure that supports Dynamics 365 online applications – especially Cortana intelligence and IoT specific requirements.

As a stand-alone product, Dynamics 365 gives users strong out-of-the-box ERP and CRM capabilities, but the solution’s real beauty is in its ability to connect with a robust collection of apps that enhance functionality and improve business performance across all departments. Organizations that set up Dynamics 365 in the cloud will be better positioned to take full advantage of Microsoft’s wide range of specialized productivity applications.

We will discuss this consideration in two parts – the functional aspects in regards to features and the non-functional and infrastructure considerations. Here are some functional reasons that you’ll want to move to the cloud with Dynamics 365:

1. Cloud-Based Digital Transformation

Dynamics 365 was built to accelerate the digital transformation for organizations that are ready to take the next step in business intelligence and automation. The software’s wide range of available – and customizable – cloud-based apps means that the platform can be tailored to meet the needs of every department, in every industry, without sacrificing agility or bulking up on unnecessary tools. Cloud-based Dynamics 365 installations let businesses enjoy a full range of applications like Field Service, Project Service automation that will transform the way you do business. These applications are not available on the premise.

2. Enhanced Mobility and Flexibility in the Cloud

Dynamics 365’s cloud-based service and applications operate on all devices and channels, expanding opportunities for professionals who need access on-the-go and enabling users to work from their smartphones, tablets, desktops, and other connected devices. Offline capabilities are included for mobile devices.

Further, Dynamics 365’s licensing models let you easily pick and choose the types of applications and functions your team will have access to so that they only see the tools they need. Even office 365 groups, Delve and Customer Portals are available in the cloud version unlike in the on-prem version.

3. Scalability Comes from the Cloud

Built on the Azure cloud platform, Dynamics 365 provides users with a single, simple service to connect people, processes, and data that can scale as your business grows. You won’t have to purchase more servers to handle more load, and you won’t ever have to worry about the security, reliability and support concerns that a growing business would face managing its servers internally. BI and reporting capabilities vary significantly between the cloud and the on-prem versions.

4. Cloud-Based Possibilities You Never Imagined

Rethink what’s possible with Dynamics 365 in the cloud with IoT, Gamification, and insights. The enterprise version of the Dynamics 365 apps let you expand your opportunities to all data in one place with Dynamics 365 in the center of the organization.

With the cloud version,  it’s pay as you go and pay as you grow! It’s easy to start with a smaller number of licenses and then grow with add-ons and apps as they become relevant to your business. You may choose to start with Dynamics 365 productivity apps for your sales and customer service departments, and then expand into operations, financials, or project service automation when you’re ready to grow.

Contact us to learn more about which Dynamics 365 option is best for you.