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Top 4 Unknown Truths about Self-hosted Open-source Platforms You Need to Know | Blog

This news may infuriate a swarm of hardcore public cloud advocates, but admit it – on-premises platforms are NOT as bad as they’re advertised to be.

Folks in tech, you have probably been a part of the endless watercooler convos about the fully hosted SaaS platforms being the future of e-mail and collaboration. People love to deprecate the lesser-known on-premises platforms, aka self-hosting platforms, as painfully old-fashioned, but has it truly become the Internet Explorer of e-mail and collab tech?

In this article, we’re going to explore the rather powerful combination of self-hosted platforms running open-source software on your own premises and compare it to the fully-hosted platforms on the cloud with proprietary software; continue reading to find out more.

Self-Hosted Platform vs. Hosted Platform

Suppose you’ve freshly bought a copy of the latest Assassin’s Creed game, only to realize that someone has already finished the main story, unlocked all levels, and left the itty-bitty side quests for your entertainment.

That’s what happens with fully hosted SaaS platforms — although someone doing all the work for you is convenient amidst a tight schedule, being left with a small range of personalization options to toggle between is a tad frustrating.

Even simpler — a hosted SaaS product is like renting a pre-customized race car for your track days.

In contrast, a self-hosted platform is like buying a personal sportscar; it gives you the freedom to change and enhance whatever you want. However, you want to. Whether it’s everybody’s go-to website option like WordPress or a full-fledged, all-in-one e-mail and collaboration platform like Zextras Carbonio, you can customize the littlest things to fit your in-house requirements the best.

Why Should I Choose a Self-Hosted Platform?

E-mail and collaboration platforms are more important than ever in today’s post-pandemic, remote work environment. Choosing between on-premises and cloud is becoming difficult, especially with marketers aggressively bashing on-premises platforms as “the ways of the past.” while it cannot be farther from the truth.

The same applies to open-source services several years ago while a recent BusinessWire report has shown that the open-source services market is expanding at a 21.75% CAGR rate towards an estimated value of ~$67 billion by FY2026. Our key takeaway? The IT industry is finally recognizing the open-source services’ true potential.

That said, here are the four benefits of on-premises/self-hosted platforms that may help you decide which is best for you:

1. All-in-One Communication

First things first — on-premises platforms are best-known for making in-office team communication effortless and more streamlined. You do not have to depend on Gmail for mails, Skype for virtual meetings, or even Google Calendar to stay up-to-date with forthcoming events.

An on-premises platform brings it all together in one place — be it real-time chat collaboration, e-mail tracking, video calling, to name a few — without needing you to rely on third-party services. Need another reason? These platforms usually come with an anti-spam feature by default that prevents spammers (of any kind) from flooding your inbox with e-mails irrelevant to your organizational purpose.

2. Endless Access to Customization

Open-source services are notorious for their flexibility and customizations. It comes from the copyrights of the source code. For those who don’t know what it means — this gives you the freedom to study, use, or even customize the software the best way to fit your goals. Do not fancy how the dashboard looks? Customize it. Are you planning to add new, unique collaboration features? Go ahead; the world is your oyster.

You have the power to amplify the performance and quadruple team productivity by shunning the complex, time-consuming activities that come by default with fully-hosted SaaS products. All you need to do is bring your best IT guys and build the system from the ground up.

3. Data Control and Security Like Never Before

Let’s talk about data. Self-hosting gives you 100% control of the data; this means that nobody else can even find it, let alone manipulate or steal. Everything stays in-house — store it wherever you find best. Also, you do not have to deal with any third-party data security/governance regulations that become mandatory while using cloud services. Isn’t that sweet?

4. A Cost-Effective Solution

Last but not least — on-premises platforms are a comparatively cost-efficient alternative. Who doesn’t fancy a bigger bang for their buck? Self-hosting open-source e-mail and collaboration platforms like Zextras Carbonio CE are popular worldwide for their lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), and you can even choose the best plans that fit both your needs and budget.

Honestly, what else does one need?

Before We Leave

Keep in mind whether an on-premises platform with open-source software is best for you or a cloud platform with proprietary software depends on what you’re looking for in one. If you are running short on time, a fully-hosted software on the cloud may be more in line with your requirements. But if you have long-term strategic goals to achieve, it’s best to invest in self-hosted open-source software on your premises.

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