Why should you read?
Are you managing your forecasting with Excel or an expensive first-generation On-premise forecasting solution? Are you in search of a Cloud-native forecasting solution?
With Forecasty.AI’s cloud solution - you can increase your business agility to respond faster to changing market conditions. Learn the key differences among Excel, On-premise and Cloud forecasting solutions, and the quick, bottom-line impact they can have for your business.
Excel seems to be the most cost-efficient application in the world of forecasting, compared to other popular options like On-premise and Cloud. Famous for its easy spreadsheet tool, it can be quickly installed and offers smooth, linear forecasts that suits your needs. While it isn’t that expensive to purchase, there is still hidden costs for many of today’s growing businesses: time-consuming, steep learning curve, slow decision-making, or inefficient collaboration tools, etc.
On-premise Software is generally considered a capital expenditure, which requires large initial capital investment for hardware, servers and installation. As all hardware and software reside in house, highly skilled and technical professionals must be available 24/7 to manage the entire system and fix any issues that might arise. Therefore, if you opt for On-premise Solution, be prepared for an incredibly high cost on operating, maintenance, software upgrades, manpower, and additional infrastructure.
Cloud Software on the other hand, is typically considered an operating expenditure. It is indeed a better choice since it provides a full functionality package at a low entry cost. Thanks to its pay-as-you-go nature of Saas (Software-as-a-service) platform, you will only pay for the exact resources that are utilized, with none of the maintenance and upkeep costs. Plus, Cloud software is priced under a predictable monthly or annual subscription, which already covers the extra cost for training, support and updates that will surely save you tons of time and money.
Excel Although Excel is the most commonly used tool, it may come along with errors and mistakes that require a knowledgeable team to monitor and fix bugs. For those working on forecasting, budgeting or pricing that heavily rely on input from multiple people, Excel creates negative collaboration access such as overwritten data or uncustomized reports that make it hard to make a business decision.
On-Premise Installed and operated from your business’ computers and servers, an On Premise software allows your own IT team to monitor the entire security, integrations, training, upgrades and overall management. As all data is in one place, On-Premise solution allows to make radical customisations or changes to software, however, it is a time-consuming and expensive process.
Cloud Hosted on the vendor’s server and accessed via a web browser, Cloud native forecasting solution is excellent to optimize your organizational efficiency and effectively boost your team collaboration. From automation to real-time data reporting, Cloud software ensures better operational functionality compared to On-Premise and Excel.
Excel While Microsoft Excel is easy to access for anyone with basic understanding, taking full advantages of its features requires lots of practice. Users unfamiliar with its advanced syntax usually find it confusing to organize data and extract customized report. Thus, the forecasting process tends to be unreliable and end up with unsatisfied results.
On Premise software takes a long time not only for server and each device installations, but also for software and hardware upgrades, thus consumes countless IT efforts, human resources and money.
Cloud Cloud forecasting solution can be implemented in much less time compared to On Premise. After signing up for a subscription, users can get started right away in the best possible manner. Cloud based solution is perfect for saving time, reducing cost and risk of your project.
Excel One of the biggest advantages of Excel is its offline availability, eliminating the need for a good internet connection. However, you still need to install Microsoft Excel desktop app on your computer in order to work on your worksheets offline. And in most of the cases when you want to create a workbook or presentation from a template, or making online collaboration, you must be connected to the internet. Then prepare for all the hassles of transferring files back and forth to communicate with your collages while remote working.
On-Premise Enterprises that deploy software On-Premise are not reliant on Internet connection and can quickly access their data from the company’s premises. However, a device with the software already installed is always required to access your data. If something goes wrong with the device containing confidential information, your business will be at a huge risk.
Cloud Comparatively, Cloud-based Software offers you a huge advantage of freedom and flexibility to access the desired data any time, from anywhere in the world. All you need is just a device with an internet connection! The updated information syncs across all the devices, from mobile phone, laptop to computer desktop, in real-time so your workflow can be optimized to meet the growing demands.
Excel With basic knowledge skills, you can quickly and easily enter data into Excel. Nevertheless, for a big corporate environment with large amounts of data, it takes time to organize those valuable data in orderly, logical spreadsheets and charts. Additionally, when you are working on forecasts that require updated information from your team in various departments, the process of consolidating data is very slow and could open up tremendous room for human errors. As a result, you should look for other better alternatives to Excel if you need to perform complex scientific calculations or statistical analysis.
On-Premise As critical data is kept in-house without the involvement of any third-party, the company can theoretically have full control over who accesses its data. However, recent researches point out that most of the massive data breaches happen as a result of malicious intentions of the internal employees. Hence, sensitive information is always at risk no matter where it is stored.
Cloud High-end Cloud providers guarantee top-notch security and supervision of the servers and network. Multi-factor authentication combined with strong physical security measures are some of the popular methods that ensure a higher security standard than an in-house IT team as of On-Premise. Additionally, data is continuously backed-up, enabling easy access to information as and when needed.
Excel spreadsheets are highly personalized and can cause lots of difficulties if someone comes in to replace a position. Data backup and recovery are also a big headache for non-IT staffs. As your data grows with your business, you will soon notice Excel performance issues: slow calculation, and slow loading speed spreadsheet. Should you rely on other’s data, think again, because you are undoubtedly limiting yourselves with Excel!
On-Premise Scaling with an on-premise solution requires a long-term planning with costly budget. As your IT staff has to constantly struggle in server management and upgrade loop, this is not the best option for growing your business.
Cloud Generally used on an as-needed basis, cloud solution offers enhanced scalability and agility which allow you to actively scale up or down to suit your customer and market demands. In that way, you can confidently carry out your day-to-day operations with ease.
When it comes to choosing a forecasting solution, Cloud Solution is a clear winner as it offers more advantages than Excel or On-premises solutions in term of deployment, scalability, flexibility, security, backups, near-zero downtime risk, and low upfront costs. Cloud-based solution is vital for business of all sizes, especially for SMBs that have a limited budget on infrastructure and IT staff for maintenance and support.
Forecasty.AI provides a superior cloud solution on which you can access to higher levels of accuracy for business decision making in commodity and related markets.