Choosing Between Hotel PMS: On-Premise vs. Cloud Hotel System

Patricia PetrinjakTourism Marketing
7 min read

Deciding between on-premise and cloud-based Hotel Property Management Systems (PMS) is crucial in the ever-evolving hotel tech industry. The PMS is the core of hotel operations, linking hoteliers with guests and overseeing reservations, revenues, and daily tasks, etc.

Despite a 2018 study revealing dissatisfaction among 55% of hotel managers with their existing PMS systems, the landscape continues to evolve. The pandemic, however, has underscored the advantages of cloud-based hotel management systems in terms of business outcomes and data security.

This comparison serves as a guide for making an informed choice between on-premise and cloud-based PMS, ensuring alignment with your business needs and guest expectations.

What is a Cloud PMS?

A cloud hotel PMS utilizes cloud technology to manage hotel operations, eliminating the need for local server installation on hotel computers. Data is stored on remote servers accessible via the Internet, allowing seamless access to the hotel’s data and processes from any location. Key advantages include reduced infrastructure costs, heightened flexibility, improved accessibility, and rapid deployment of new features.

What is an On-Premise Hotel PMS?

An on-premise hotel PMS is installed and maintained directly on the hotel’s local computer servers. This means that all server resources, databases, and applications are physically located within the hotel premises rather than on external cloud servers. While on-premise systems offer control over infrastructure and data, they come with challenges such as high implementation costs, the need for regular maintenance, and limited flexibility in adapting to swift hotel tech changes.

On-Premise vs. Cloud Hotel PMS: Making the Right Choice

In the clash between tradition and innovation, on-premise PMS offers conventional control, while cloud PMS emphasizes adaptability, cost efficiency, and enhanced accessibility.

The choice between cloud and on-premise PMS is fundamentally a matter of cost strategy for hoteliers. Cloud PMS presents a customizable option without a hefty upfront investment, catering to those seeking flexibility. On-premises PMS may appeal to those favoring an upfront payment model with lower ongoing expenses. Tailoring the cost strategy to the business’s specific needs is crucial.

Upgrading Hotel Operations

Cloud Hotel PMS

Crafted to bolster hoteliers’ operational endeavors, the cloud hotel management system strongly emphasizes enhancing the overall guest experience. Its interface, characterized by innovation, intuition, and modern design, ensures swift and straightforward utilization for every hotel staff member.

Focusing on guest satisfaction, revenue optimization, and minimizing operational disruptions, the cloud PMS empowers staff to fully engage with guests, creating seamless experiences throughout their stay. The cloud hotel PMS sets a high-quality standard in the hotel industry by promoting efficiency and enabling the uninterrupted provision of superior service.

On-Premise Hotel PMS

On-premise systems, deeply rooted in industry needs, face challenges with rapid tech advancements. While historically reliable, these property management systems sometimes need help covering modern work processes in today’s dynamic environment. Integrating with the latest innovations becomes challenging, rendering on-premise PMS less adaptable than contemporary cloud solutions.

While its history and tradition hold value in specific scenarios, the cloud hotel PMS increasingly emerges as the preferred solution, offering agility, scalability, and instant access to the latest features.

Enhancing Staff Efficiency

Cloud Hotel PMS

Cloud hotel PMS offers tailored tools and swift access to vital information, optimizing hotel staff and reception workflow. Mobility is paramount, enabling hotel managers to handle reservations efficiently via smartphones and enhancing flexibility and responsiveness to dynamic situations. Secure access is ensured through two-factor authentication, upholding data confidentiality.

Automation of processes accelerates tasks, granting receptionists rapid access to essential information like bookings, thereby improving operational efficiency. Remote work becomes feasible, empowering the front desk to update information and swiftly enhancing overall flexibility. Cloud systems foster quick and efficient communication between the hotel and staff, streamlining department coordination.

On-Premise Hotel PMS

An on-premise hotel system, being physically located within the hotel, necessitates on-site access, potentially restricting operational speed. Physical access constraints may require staff to navigate information and tasks urgently. Costs and implementation time escalate with hardware replacements and operating system license renewals. 

In such scenarios, transitioning to a cloud-based hotel PMS is often viewed as more cost-effective and efficient, providing heightened flexibility and simplifying system maintenance for faster and more streamlined hotel operations.

Automated Updates

Cloud Hotel PMS

Hoteliers benefit from continuous access to the latest software versions in the cloud property management system. Cloud PMS routinely updates its functionalities and features, ensuring users receive ongoing innovation without interruptions or additional costs. Simultaneous access to the same system version for all users guarantees a consistent experience and a balanced set of features.

On-Premise Hotel PMS

Users of the on-premise system can access new features, functionalities, and bug fixes, enabling customization of the hotel experience based on specific needs. However, these updates are often prolonged and can disrupt regular operations. Users typically need to actively participate in the update process, which involves downloading and installing the latest application version.

Ensuring Data Security

Cloud Hotel PMS

Implementing a cloud PMS requires meticulous consideration of data security, especially in a rapidly evolving landscape with new standards such as GDPR and PCI. Navigating these complexities is challenging, but with a cloud PMS, this responsibility falls on expert engineering teams. These teams diligently monitor and implement the latest security requirements, ensuring that the management of complex security issues is entrusted to seasoned professionals.

On-Premise Hotel PMS

While an on-premise PMS upholds stringent security standards, manages GDPR controls, and obtains PCI certification for secure financial data handling, understanding accountability dynamics is crucial in this model. Internal data security becomes the hotel’s independent responsibility. As end users, hotels must actively contribute to safeguarding data at the operational level, involving staff training, the implementation of access controls, and continuously monitoring and updating security settings.

Optimizing Costs

Cloud Hotel PMS

The cloud-based PMS presents an economically viable option with a subscription model with minimal monthly fees per room and specific initial setup costs. Operating on a pay-per-use model, the cloud hotel PMS reduces setup expenses by eliminating the need for costly hardware equipment. That proves especially beneficial when closely managing overall costs.

On-Premise Hotel PMS

In contrast, the on-premise PMS operates on a one-time purchase model, accompanied by mandatory costs for the IT infrastructure required for software maintenance. An additional fixed annual maintenance fee is incurred for ongoing support and upgrades. The on-premise PMS model entails upfront capital costs with relatively lower ongoing operational expenses.

Expanding Integration Possibilities

Cloud Hotel PMS

Leveraging API technology, cloud hotel systems empower hoteliers to craft innovative ecosystems tailored to the specific needs of hotels and businesses. The integration capability of these systems adds substantial value, granting comprehensive control over every aspect of the company. With seamless access to integrations, creating a personalized hotel experience becomes effortlessly customizable, enhancing business agility and readiness for the challenges of the modern market.

On-Premise Hotel PMS

In contrast, on-premise PMS systems typically adopt a closed approach, posing challenges in integrating additional applications. This secure stance often leads to increased costs and the necessity for other equipment. For instance, when confronted with limitations in data storage space, the resolution might involve purchasing or renting extra equipment, posing a financial challenge, particularly in the dynamic context of rapid business growth. These limitations can significantly impede the hotel’s agility and adaptability in the bustling hotel sector.

Why Opt for Rentlio Cloud Hotel PMS?

Rentlio’s cloud hotel PMS is an all-encompassing solution, incorporating a Property Management System, Channel Manager, and Booking Engine, offering hotels unmatched adaptability and scalability, regardless of their size.

Accessing data and functionality from anywhere, anytime, boosts operational efficiency, enabling swift responses to changes or emergencies. Reduced infrastructure, maintenance, and upgrade costs enhance financial efficiency, eliminating the need for costly equipment or physical data storage space.

Rentlio integrates advanced features like process automation, data analysis, and rapid innovation implementation, aiding hotels in keeping up with competitition in a dynamic environment. Data security is a priority, and as a recognized cloud service provider, Rentlio regularly updates its systems, adhering to high-security standards against cyber threats.

Schedule a meeting with our experts to experience the quality of our solution firsthand.

Implementing the Cloud Hotel PMS

Hoteliers may overthink transitioning to a new property management system. However, with well-organized hotel operations, implementing the chosen system can be quick, stress-free, and cost-effective, all managed remotely.

Implementing a cloud hotel PMS is typically faster than traditional on-premise PMS, with automatic updates ensuring access to the latest product updates and security protocols. Switching from an on-premise PMS system is different; the process is more expensive, time-consuming, and demanding.

At Rentlio, selecting a hotel system for daily management is a nuanced process. We approach this transparently, tailoring our approach to each client’s needs. Beginning with a meeting with our business development specialist to understand your business requirements, we provide a detailed system presentation, allowing you to assess features. Based on your specific needs, we send a personalized offer. Signing a clear contract defines the terms of cooperation, followed by a swift and efficient onboarding process and staff training to ensure you can leverage our hotel management system promptly.

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Although she would love to read all day, Patricia enjoys writing for Rentlio. Constantly trying to adapt to the Dalmatian way of life, you can find her walking her two dogs and/or reading on most evenings 📚