B2B eCommerce Systems: SaaS vs. On-Premise

Pros and Cons of Using SaaS and On-Premise systems

Six considerations when choosing between on-premise and SaaS eCommerce systems

saas vs on premiseOne of the biggest decisions that B2B eCommerce businesses face today is whether to use SaaS or on-premise software for your eCommerce system. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is becoming increasingly popular with promises of lowering your costs. On-premise has been a tried and true method that has worked for many types of businesses. So how do you choose which one is best for you? Below we examine six items that are the main influences for businesses when choosing between on-premise and SaaS.

Costs of Implementing and Executing

One of the first considerations for any business decision is the costs. On-premise software costs are mostly up-front and include hardware, licensing, and operating expenses. The costs of using SaaS are spread out, because the business is usually charged as they go, per month and per user. While the biggest argument for on-premise is that it has paid for itself and has no incremental costs after five years, you need to consider the added costs of upgrades, updates, backups and servicing.


When choosing between SaaS and on-premise, you need to consider how much control you want or need to have. With SaaS, you are entrusting your SaaS provider with your business’s and customers’ data. The provider also has control over the systems. Any updates to the software apply to all of the service’s customers, so not only are you not able to make changes to the code, but you aren’t able to avoid unwanted changes in updates either. With on-premise, you are in control of your own systems. You also have complete control over yours and your customers’ data.


On-premise software systems tend to be more customizable than SaaS. There are usually limited customization options with SaaS, which works for some businesses that don’t need those options. On-premise allows users to make more adjustments to the software to make it fit their specific business needs. Some on-premise vendors offer better customization options than others. If having your eCommerce system fit your every business need is a must, than an on-premise solution may be the best fit for you.


Security is a top concern for any eCommerce business. With SaaS, data is stored at another location and is accessed over the internet, which creates security risks. Using on-premise is more secure because the data is stored at your location.


Integration is becoming increasingly important for businesses’ processes and efficiency. Most SaaS systems allow limited integration, which is usually restricted to other software or systems made by the same or partnering companies. On-premise systems can be easily integrated with almost any software that you choose to use. The integration can also be customized in whatever way would help your business the most.

mobile accessibilityAccessibility

Having mobile access to business data can help your employees stay productive no matter where they are or what time it is. SaaS systems enable access via a mobile browser on most mobile devices. With on-premise, you usually have limited mobile access to business applications via browsers.

Know Your Business Needs 

When selecting between SaaS and on-premise for your eCommerce system, the most important factor is your business and its needs. Evaluating your need for customization, integration and mobile access as well as your budget will help you decide whether SaaS or on-premise is better for your business. Some businesses will be able to easily choose between on-premise and SaaS, while either one would be a good fit for others.

Clarity Can Help

Our team of experts at Clarity has implemented both SaaS and on-premise eCommerce solutions. We help guide clients through the process of picking which would work best for their business and make recommendations depending on their wants and needs. To learn more about SaaS and on-premise eCommerce solutions or to schedule a consultation, call or click to contact us today!