Nonprofits have more choices than they did a few years ago when it comes to operational software. If you are shopping for new accounting software there’s a new consideration beyond features and functions: is the best choice a cloud solution, a hosted solution or an on-premise solution?
- On-premise is the traditional method of housing your software. You license a solution that is installed on a server that resides physically within your organization.
- A hosted solution means that you license the software and it resides on a “host” server that resides in a facility operated by the hosting service company.
- A cloud-based solution is usually subscription-based. After the initial set up and associated costs, you pay a monthly subscription fee to access the software through a browser.
Cloud-based solutions are getting a lot of press these days. In many cases, a cloud-based option will be more attractive to nonprofits for several reasons. Because it’s a subscription, the cost of the software is split up into monthly payments over the course of the year. Many organizations prefer the subscription to a large upfront payment with an ongoing annual maintenance and support renewal payment. In some cases it’s easier to gain approval for the expenditure and monthly payments are easier to accommodate.
The anytime, anywhere access of cloud-based solutions make them very popular when an organization has staff in the field, or multiple locations. There’s more flexibility for organizations with system users who are not coming to the office everyday – or whose office is in another city or around the globe.