Bitrix24 software is designed for business communication and collaboration for small, mid-sized, and large organizations. The system combines tools that are typically found in CRM solutions and project management platforms. It is the ultimate platform for workflow organization and virtual teamwork. The software is used as an online service and it has a cloud and hosted version. The cloud-based software as a service option is available to everyone while the self-hosted option is installed on the company server.
This article explores the major differences between both options.
Cloud technology is very popular because it enhances the flexibility of the system and makes data management possible from anywhere at any time. All users need is an internet connection to access the Bitrix24 software cloud. This is a perfect solution for those companies that have less than 100 employees. They can choose a commercial subscription as well for an unlimited number of user accounts. This version supports internal employees, management as well as external partners and clients. For a higher level of customization, corporate branding, and integration with enterprise project management software it would be better to switch to the self-hosted version.
There are many situations where the self-hosted version is a much better fit for the company. Some organizations or legal codes require data to be stored in a specific physical location. Source code access is also useful for Bitrix24 tools especially when they are not available in the cloud or internal policies do not permit cloud hosting. Based on the features, the self-hosted version includes many modules that are not available on the cloud-based platform.
Another way the Bitrix24 features for the self-hosted version are better than the cloud-based one is that it offers complete customization. Users can change the front-end of the platform including the logo, color scheme, menu, layout, content, and widgets. They can modify the settings according to their preferences. The self-hosted version can only be hosted on a remote web server of the user’s choice. It will be deployed to a local network and can operate with no or limited internet connectivity.
The self-hosted version is a PHP product that is compatible with most third-party add-ons. Users can choose between different gadgets, modules, and integration types. The source code is also available to developers which makes it even more flexible and customizable for integrations. The self-hosted edition has several modules and features such as the Web Cluster that can be used to balance the server load. There are multi-department features as well for creating multiple intranets within a single network. This option is useful for companies that have multiple branches, subsidiaries, and departments that require their personalized activity stream.
How to Choose Between Cloud and Self-hosted Versions
The choice between cloud-based and on-site Bitrix24 software depends on the nature of the business, relevant industry, company size, and other requirements. There are quite a few flexible plans to choose from in the cloud category whereas for the self-hosted version companies can order customized software.
Each version has its benefits but there is a specific trade-off associated with them too. The costs, deployment, and maintenance differ for both options. Some of the core differences are mentioned below.
Licensing Fee and Costs
For the cloud-based version, there are a few subscription plans available and they only require users to pay on a month-to-month basis. A cloud option is a software as a service or SaaS product and users have to subscribe to a license. Companies can buy unlimited user licenses because the system has no maximum capacity.
The self-hosted Bitrix24 pricing only require users to pay a one-time fee. They will have ownership of the license and the key is transferred to the end-user during the implementation phase. However, this system is more suitable for companies that have no more than 1,000 employees because that is the maximum number of user packs available.
Installation and Implementation
The cloud-based Bitrix24 features can be instantly deployed since there is no installation or ongoing maintenance required. Users can sign up through the web browser or use the mobile app to access their workspace. Since the software is online, the storage space limit will be defined according to the subscription plan.
The self-hosted version is installed and deployed on the company’s web server or a physical location of their choice. It requires correspondence between the software and hardware to complete the infrastructure. There is unlimited storage space as long as the server hosting capacity can withstand large volumes of data.
Other Bitrix24 Costs
Bitrix24 software has different costs associated with the cloud-based and self-hosted versions. There are licensing fees, maintenance costs, and other options associated with either one of them. Any company should consider those when choosing between the two.
The cloud-based version requires users to have the basic hardware options such as the laptop, workstation, or mobile device. The users need a fast and stable internet connection, the costs of which should also be included in the estimations. There is additional training and maintenance required which is paid for by the users.
The self-hosted version has specific software and hardware requirements which can cost anywhere between a few thousand dollars. The software has to be hosted on a server and that comes with its subscription and installation fee. Users need a commercial license for the Bitrix24 software version and will have to incur additional costs if they are going to host 25 or more users.
These costs are excluding the salary for the in-house IT staff that is required to implement and maintain the system. The number of people needed in the department depends on several factors. For the cloud-based version, freelance employees can be hired for a one-time deployment. Bitrix24 is the project management partner and can recommend IT professionals who would be willing to provide the services on an hourly basis.