Business Central: On-Premises

All versions of Business Central offer similar capabilities and the same excellent user interface. There are, however, some key differences between them that could make the on-premises option more suited to your operation. This section highlights some of these features.

Maintain Full Control Over Your Data

Data management is often the reason that leads companies to deploy an on-premises version of Business Central.

With cloud-based solutions, your data is hosted and encrypted on remote servers managed by a third party. While Microsoft’s servers are some of the most secure out there, companies whose information is particularly sensitive or at a high security risk generally prefer to maintain complete control over their data.

The on-premises version of Business Central enables companies to host their information on their own private servers. By doing so, companies maintain total control on network access and on a user’s ability to extract data from the system. This solution however entails that companies procure and implement said servers, hardware, software, and firewalls to host its systems on-premises.

Companies whose security requirements are extremely restrictive can opt to run the on-premises version of Business Central without any connection to the internet. Doing so maximizes data security in ways that cloud technology simply cannot – but it does make off-site access to the system very difficult and expensive to achieve.

Unrivaled Customizability for Highly Complex Operations

Another reason to opt for the on-premises solution is that it allows for a maximum of customizability. While all versions of Business Central are greatly adaptable, the on-premises version takes flexibility to the next level.

Because the solution is deployed on your servers, your technology teams can tailor its functionalities to match your company’s exact requirements. Operations that present a very high degree of complexity, such as specialized manufacturers with unique processes, should therefore consider deploying the ERP on-premises to streamline and optimize their processes beyond the capabilities afforded by could technology.

Drawbacks: Capital & IT Resources Intensive

There is a cost to the extra level of security and customizability.

Contrary to cloud versions, which are paid for through monthly membership payments, clients acquire the rights to the on-premises ERP system in perpetuity through a one-time payment. Companies should therefore consider the on-premises version of Business Central as an expenditure.

To that initial expenditure, one must also add the costs for the hardware and software required to host and run Business Central.

Also, since privately hosted solutions completely fall under the control of their owner, the onus is on them to keep the system updated, to manage back-ups and recovery plans, and to provide employees with remote access to the system.

In other words, companies who intend to deploy the ERP on-premises must also factor in the costs of the internal IT resources needed to keep the solution running smoothly in the future.

Business Central Online: Cloud Hosted Versions

Cloud technology, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), is rapidly becoming something of a standard in business solutions. Chances are your organization is already running a version of Microsoft 365 off the cloud.

If you are not yet familiar with cloud-based technology, you can read more about it here.

Let’s explore some of the reasons behind the growing popularity of Business Central online.

A Budget Friendly ERP System

Cloud-based versions of Business Central present the advantages of being less expensive to procure, faster to implement, and cheaper to maintain than on-premises solutions.

  • The cloud-based version of Business Central only requires an internet connection to run on most platforms. There is no need to invest in hardware or expensive software solutions to access its full breadth of capabilities.
  • Deploying Business Central on the cloud spares you the high initial expenditure required to purchase the on-premises version. Instead, companies buy into a membership system where the monthly fees are determined relative to the type of licence they have purchased and the number of users that need access to the system.
  • By opting for Business Central as SaaS, you delegate the solution’s maintenance to Microsoft. The Business Central licence fees include automatic updates, back-ups, and recovery plans. This saves you from pouring significant portions of your precious capital into inhouse IT resources.

Combined, these features make it much easier for small and midsize companies with a limited IT budget to make the transition to the first-in-class Business Central ERP system.

Scalability to Meet Fast Growing Needs

Cloud versions of Business Central make it easy to expand the system’s capabilities with new applications.

Not only can you integrate applications from the AppSource with a simple “drag & drop”, but the system’s native modules can be turned on or off just as easily.

It stands to reason that, by making applications easier to integrate, cloud versions of Business Central can adapt faster to the needs of a growing operation without incurring large expenses or monopolizing your IT resources.

Drawbacks: Internet Dependency & Limited Customizability

If you operate in an area where internet access isn’t stable, then the cloud versions of Business Central are not for you.

Something else to keep in mind: if your operation involves unique processes that require highly complex levels of adapted support, you may find that the ERP’s cloud-based versions offer limited solutions. That problem can however be remedied by having LIDD’s Technology Experts integrate third-party solutions with your ERP system to meet your unique needs.

Dual Rights: Ready for Anything

Whatever your situation may be, Microsoft makes it easy for your organisation to deploy its ERP system in the ways that best fit your infrastructure.

All licences for Dynamics365 Business Central come with dual use rights, meaning that you always reserve the option of deploying the ERP on-premises, on a personal cloud (Azure), on Microsoft’s cloud (SaaS), or through a mix of these options.

Read more on Business Central’s licences here.

The Take-Away

Whether deployed on-premises or on the cloud, all versions of Business Central offer a highly adaptable ERP solution that will meet the needs of the most demanding organisations. By choosing a deployment model that better corresponds to your operation’s reality and needs, you maximize the benefits you can draw from implementing Business Central.

Business Central Deployment in a Nutshell


Better suited to highly complex operations and larger businesses that have restrictive security requirements and the capital to implement and support the solution.


Perfect for small and mid size companies that do not have the IT resources, the infrastructure, or the complexity to warrant a large initial expenditure and ongoing maintenance fees.

Are you still unsure what deployment model best fits your operation?

LIDD’s Microsoft Experts are there to help you determine which option best fits your operational needs. Whatever route is right for you, we know how to make sure that you get the same excellent user experience on all platforms, from anywhere, and at any time.

Read Jean-Martin’s Bio

Jean-Martin Roux Senior Partner
Jean-Martin Roux Senior Partner

Jean-Martin has been a logistics applications and integration specialist since 2005 and helpclients throughout North America implement supply chain technology. He has worked with clients on all facets of their supply chain application park: Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), Transportation Management Systems (TMS), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Jean-Martin holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from ETS Montreal.

Read Jason’s Bio

Jason Chance Senior Analyst
Jason Chance Senior Analyst

Jason has more than 10 years of experience in building and implementing processes that help optimize productivity, capacity and efficiency. He has led numerous projects focused on implementing Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. He configured a number of warehouse/enterprise processes and led projects on eCommerce integration. Jason holds an MBA from Umass Amherst and BSc in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University. 

Read Amanda’s Bio

Amanda Mayer Director of Finance
Amanda Mayer Director of Finance

Amanda Mayer is LIDD’s Director of Finance and a Senior Analyst in LIDD’s Microsoft Dynamics Business Central consulting practice.

As Director of Finance, Ms. Mayer prepares the firm’s fiscal records and financial plans. She is responsible for the development of LIDD’s financial vision and strategy. Amanda advises the company’s partners on financial matters that affect the organization’s growth and capacity to provide clients world-class services.

As Senior Business Central Analyst, she advises companies on the proper implementation of their ERP system. Amanda’s expertise is especially valuable with regards to the ERP’s finance and operations capabilities. Her vast experience with the solution makes her well versed in the best practices that optimize Business Central’s performance.

Amanda’s exceptional administrative acumen, superior analytic rigor, and deep knowledge of fiscal law have led her to play a key role in helping corporations achieve due diligence, mergers & acquisitions, US GAAP compliance, and Annual Operating Plans.

A member of the Navision User Group (NAVUG) Advisory Board until recently, Ms. Mayer has established herself as an internationally recognized expert consultant for Microsoft’s ERP systems. At New View Strategies, where she acted as Owner and CFO, Amanda Mayer provided training, evaluation of business processes, and specialty consulting in finance to companies that run on Business Central.

Amanda Mayer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lakeland College, WI. She is a certified public accountant and member of the AICPA. She was awarded the NAVUG All Stars (2015), the NAVUG Ruby Award (2016), and the NAVUG Granite Award three times (2017, 2019, 2020).

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