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How to Unleash Automation: On-Prem vs. In-cloud

Every organization asks a long list of questions before onboarding an intelligent automation solution into its environment. One of the most crucial questions, often set aside until later stages of the discussion, is whether to opt for an on-premise or in-cloud solution.

In this article, we will objectively explore these two options, outlining the specifics of each installation, benefits, and drawbacks, to provide a clear picture for the decision-making process. We will examine vital aspects such as cost, scalability, maintenance, and more. Atomatik, a highly versatile business process automation platform, seamlessly integrates with both on-premise and in-cloud servers. Let's delve into each scenario to identify the key factors to consider.

What is On-Prem Software?

To understand how companies leverage software products running on their premises, let's take a quick look back at history. On-premise software, the oldest formula for running external software, emerged in the late 1980s and early 1990s with the rise of client-server architecture.

Organizations would purchase software licenses and install the applications on their local servers or individual computers. However, this operational model has always been expensive due to the physical nature of running software on-premises. Costs tend to be high, impacting scalability. Expanding software to additional branches would require purchasing additional servers, assigning dedicated IT teams, and sustaining additional costs for storage under strict conditions.

What is In-cloud Software?

As the on-prem model proved to be prohibitive, the late 90s and early 2000s witnessed the emergence of a newer model, supported by significant improvements in Internet connection speeds. Companies like Salesforce and Amazon Web Services introduced a in-cloud model, which democratized the use of powerful software tools and enabled prosperity in geographic regions previously limited by the demands of on-prem software operations. Cloud technologies, developed by pioneers in the field, abstracted the underlying hardware, allowing multiple software applications to run independently on a shared physical infrastructure. This model quickly became dominant and remains so to this day.

In-cloud software, also known as Software as a Service (SaaS), eliminates the need for organizations and software companies to invest in expensive hardware and strictly controlled storage environments. Applications and services are delivered exclusively through the Internet, providing access from web browsers and dedicated applications. By eliminating massive upfront costs and enhancing scalability, SaaS has become the preferred model for a large portion of global organizations, with some notable exceptions.

Which is Better and for What?

Atomatik functions both as an on-premises solution and a in-cloud one. Let's explore some of the key differences between the two models, focusing on vital aspects prioritized by organizations.



As mentioned earlier, the upfront costs of the on-prem model are usually higher due to the need to connect and synchronize several components for optimal platform performance. This includes dedicated servers, proper storage with constant humidity and temperature, software licenses, databases, and internal IT support teams for hardware maintenance, server upgrades, and more. While sourcing all the components for an on-prem automation model can be challenging and costly, there are benefits to consider.


From an investment standpoint, automating with a in-cloud model allows virtual access to all the resources of an on-prem installation, under a recurring cost. The requirements are reduced to a bare minimum, usually consisting of end-user terminals. This makes in-cloud automation the most attractive option for small and medium-sized organizations, as well as large-scale ones with a coherent automation and scaling strategy in place. Costs vary depending on specific requirements but are generally significantly lower compared to an on-prem model.



Scaling an on-prem automation solution can be challenging for organizations with increased workloads. Replicating all the components mentioned in the investment paragraph becomes a necessity for each new branch. Purchasing and maintaining additional hardware and assembling local support teams make this model more difficult to replicate.


The elastic scalability of in-cloud automation is one of its biggest advantages. It enables businesses to dynamically expand their automation infrastructure effortlessly, perfectly aligned with their existing needs. As the underlying infrastructure is virtual, there is no need for additional spending on resources, regardless of the size of the expansion. Scaling down is equally seamless if needed.



Security is a significant argument in favor of the on-prem automation model, as it provides complete control over the software and data, albeit at a higher cost for maintenance. On-prem installation and operation eliminate the need to connect to external servers, ensuring greater autonomy and security. The level of security in this model depends on the organization's internal regulations and procedures and how they are enforced.


In-cloud automation offers a high level of data security, with the ability to easily incorporate the latest upgrades. However, the overall security level is influenced by each organization's internal guidelines and adherence to them.

Factors such as a two-factor authentication policy and responsible role and access assignment have a significant impact on security. While cloud computing is generally considered very safe, vulnerabilities often arise from improper or non-existent internal policies.



The reliability of an on-prem automation solution depends on the quality and maintenance of the local infrastructure. Regular hardware upgrades, redundancy measures, monitoring, backups, off-site storage, and recovery procedures are essential to ensure optimal reliability.


In-cloud automation is typically operated across multiple data centers, ensuring high fault tolerance. Cloud providers have advanced monitoring tools and maintenance practices in place, employing proactive monitoring that drastically reduces the chance of disruptions. Built-in disaster recovery capabilities, robust backup strategies, and other fail-safe mechanisms further enhance reliability.


Embracing automation as a strategic lever for efficiency and productivity requires a careful assessment of adoption methods. While on-prem automation offers stability and control, in-cloud automation is easier to scale, often more cost-effective, and easier to maintain.

We encourage all organizations to carefully assess their requirements, to ensure the highest efficiency for the automation project.

If you’re not sure what the best way to go is, the Atomatik team can help you evaluate the best option, based on your goals and processes.

If you want to learn more about how Atomatik can help your organization and what your ideal automation scenario looks like, book a call with our sales team.

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