Project Management Tools: On-Premise or Cloud?

2018-06-17 14:12:00

When selecting a project management tool for your team, one of the factors you have to think about is whether it is on-premise service or cloud service. The biggest difference between those two kinds of service is the way it is deployed.

On-Premise project management tool is installed and deployed on your own server. You should be able to deploy and maintain it yourself locally. Cloud, or SAAS, project management tool is hosted on the vendor's server remotely and the vendor will take care of the maintenance. You usually access it through the Internet.

Now you know the basic difference between them, but which one should you choose? Considering the cost, the security, the customization and implementation, let's go through the pros and cons of on-premise tools and cloud services.


On-premise tool is usually a one-time payment thing. You pay it once and for all. Unlike on-premise ones, cloud service is charged on time-basis or so-called subscription. You can always stop the payment, once you don't think it is fit your team.


  • reduce initial price of the system

  • upfront investment can be seen as riskier
  • have to pay hardware and IT costs as the software required


  • predictable costs over time
  • cheaper upfront investment
  • no additional hardware investment
  • shorter implementation times are largely a result of less customization

Image: Hidden Costs of On-Premise Deployment


Security is the most obvious difference between an on-premise tool and a cloud service, as the data is stored on different servers. It might be the factor the concerns your decision greatly, as data security is very important to an organization.

  • data security is in the hands of the organization
  • Some organizations might not be as adept at practicing proper data security protocols.


  • data security is in the hands of the vendor
  • although vendors pledge strict data security standards, some organizations might not be at ease with this arrangement



  • the organization has more control over the implementation process
  • customizations can affect implementation on time

  • customizations can result in headaches when vendor updates software


  • offer greater stability and continuous updates from the vendor as a result of less customization
  • organizations can work with vendors to see what changes can be made, but customization is less and limited



  • the organization has more control over the implementation
  • implementation can take significantly longer


  • typically take less time to implement
  • shorter implementation times are largely a result of less customization

From what has been said above, on-premise tools are usually more secure and customizable, as you have more control of it, while cloud service is easy to use and stable as the vendor is constantly updating it. The choice is really dependent on what feature you want for your team.

Write a Comment
Comment will be posted once reviewed.

Why choose ZenTao


Serving 30,000+ teams

Serving 200,000+ projects

Serving 800,000+ developers

The #1 in local market share

Free & Open

Open source and unlimited to commercial

Powerful extension mechanism and various plug-ins

Available on Github

Either Self-Host or Cloud Apps


Refined ALM support

Zero downtime upgrades 

Integrate Git and SVN (pro)

Word and Excel import & export (pro)

Preview-Edit-Diff document online(ent)

Integrate OPS-Attendance-Feedback(ent)


ZenTao team has involved in open source since 2004

Frequent releases and free upgrade forever(even self-hosted) 

Instant and powerful support for 20000+ companies


Out of the box, Less config

Nice price for small team($9.9)

Design to adhere Scrum Best practice

For Agile but not restrict to Agile


Applicable for different sized teams

Applicable for Agile/Waterfall

Modules can be used in any combination

Convenient customization