Access Control Management Software: Cloud Versus On-site

Pros and Cons of Access Control Software Location

Cloud or On-Site Access Control
Cloud or On-Site Access Control

What is the difference between cloud and on-premise Access Control Software? On-site Access Control Software is the classic model of providing a perpetual license, allowing you to run the software on your computer. Cloud software runs on a remote server and is provided under a monthly or yearly subscription plan. Here are some pros and cons.

Location of Access Control Software:

On-site access control management software is hosted on servers at the organization’s premises. This can be within a company’s data center or on dedicated hardware within the facility. The Hartmann Access Control Software is an example of this type of access control system.

Cloud hosting of access control maintains the software in a remote server. The management screens are available through the Internet. The Isonas Access Control Cloud system is an example of this type of system.

On-Site Access Control Management Software:

Enterprise IP Door Access Control System
Enterprise IP Door Access Control System


Local Access: Users typically access the system using devices connected to the local network. Remote access may be possible but often requires additional configurations like VPN (Virtual Private Network).

Maintenance of the Access Control Software:

In-House Maintenance: Maintenance and updates are managed by the organization’s IT staff. This involves ensuring server security, updating software, and troubleshooting issues locally.


Upfront Investment: Organizations may have higher initial costs as they must invest in servers, hardware, and infrastructure. Ongoing maintenance and update costs are also part of the equation.


Direct Control: Organizations directly control their access control system and data. This can be essential for companies with strict security and compliance requirements.

Cloud-Based Access Control Management:

Cloud Access Control and Management
Cloud Access Control and Management


Remote Servers: Cloud-based access control management software is hosted on remote servers managed by a third-party cloud service provider. The servers are typically distributed across multiple data centers.


Remote Access: With an internet connection, users can access the system from anywhere. This flexibility benefits organizations with distributed teams or those needing remote access.


Vendor Responsibility: The cloud service provider handles server and software maintenance, updates, and security. This reduces the burden on the organization’s IT staff.

Cost of Each Access Control Service:

Subscription Model:

Cloud-based solutions follow a subscription-based model, where organizations pay recurring fees. This can lead to lower initial costs but ongoing expenses.

Site License for On-site Access Control Management Software

A site license is usually a one-time purchase, but monthly support and update fees are associated with this plan.

Control of Access Control Software:

Outsourced Control: While organizations control the access control settings and configurations, the physical infrastructure and server management are outsourced to the cloud provider. Management is provided through a portal to the remote software.

On-site Door Access Control Software Requires a knowledgeable (trained) individual on the organization’s staff. Access is provided on network-attached workstations or, in some cases, through a smartphone.

Considerations for Cloud Versus On-Site Access Control Software:

  • Security: Both on-site and cloud-based solutions can be secure, but organizations must implement best practices for securing access control systems and data.
  • Scalability: Cloud solutions often offer greater scalability, allowing organizations to adjust resources based on their needs. On-site solutions may require additional hardware for expansion.
  • Reliability: Cloud solutions benefit from redundancy and backup features from reputable service providers. On-site solutions rely on the resilience of the local infrastructure.
  • Compliance: Depending on the industry and regulatory requirements, organizations may need to consider compliance factors when choosing between on-site and cloud-based solutions.

Summary of Cloud Versus On-Site Access Control Management Software

The choice between on-site and cloud-based access control management depends on organizational preferences, infrastructure, budget considerations, and the need for remote access. Each approach has its advantages, and the decision should align with the specific requirements and goals of the organization.

If you want help selecting the best door access system, please get in touch with us at 1-800-431-1658 in the USA or 914-944-3425 everywhere else, or use our contact form.