B2B & B2C Product Management: The Solution is PIM
Do you know the difference between B2B and B2C eCommerce? The two models aren’t as black and white as you’d think. In fact, you’d be...
August 8, 2022
If you’re looking to buy a PIM solution, there are likely two different PIM solutions you’ll be considering: Cloud and on-premise PIM. While both enable you to streamline the management of product data, there are some distinct differences you need to be aware of. In this blog, we’ll run through the key things you should consider ahead of your PIM implementation. When starting your PIM journey, you need to keep your business goals and objectives front of mind. What do you want to achieve, and how quickly do you want to achieve it? What’s your vision for the future of the business? The answers to these questions will largely determine which PIM is right for you.
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An on-premise PIM platform is software that’s located physically on-site or, on-premise, as the name suggests. You buy it under a license, and you then house it on your own servers. You’ll be in control of the PIM implementation, integration, maintenance, upgrades, and any customizations you want to make. As such, you’ll need a robust IT department and dedicated developers to ensure everything runs smoothly with your PIM project.
There are two types of PIM on-premise hosting you can opt for. You can either go for open source. This is where you can access, inspect, and make amends to the source code as you see fit. Alternatively, you can choose a proprietary platform. This will be an out-of-the-box solution and your PIM provider will be responsible for all upgrades and the development of any new features and functionalities.
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Cloud PIM does what it says on the tin – it’s hosted on the cloud by a third-party provider. Usually, it will use infrastructures like Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google. Cloud solutions are continuously growing in popularity due to their flexibility and scalability. Cloud-based PIM solutions are generally subscription-based that will be ready for you to start using once it’s been implemented. It’s usually offered as a SaaS PIM solution – Software as a Service, meaning your PIM provider will have a team working alongside you.
Now we’ve defined the different models, let’s cover the key considerations you should take into account when choosing a PIM solution.
The cost of your PIM system is of course going to be a key consideration. A PIM that’s cloud-based is going to have different cost implications than its on-premise PIM alternative. There are a number of factors that will influence your choice, your computing resources being a primary consideration.
Generally speaking, a cloud platform will represent a lower initial investment. Firstly, you won’t have to purchase any additional hardware as this will sit with your PIM provider. Secondly, the cost of cloud PIM includes implementation, integration, maintenance, upgrades, and new features and functionalities.
On the other hand, on-premise solutions will require a significant initial and ongoing investment. You’ll be responsible for the cost of the license, hardware, servers, installation, maintenance, ongoing upgrades, and customizations. You’ll also need a robust team of developers on-hand to take care of your PIM on-premise deployment and upkeep.
There’ll be two key elements to consider in terms of the amount of control you have: One will be over the PIM platform itself, and the other will be the control you have over the data you manage within your PIM.
When it comes to the control you have over the platform itself, an on-premise solution will offer much more scope than its cloud-based PIM alternative. Because you’ll have a dedicated team, you can choose when to upgrade your platform with new features and functionalities. In other words, you can totally customize it depending on your specific business goals and requirements.
Opting for a cloud PIM solution means you’ll be limited to what your PIM provider is offering in terms of updates, and new features and functionalities. So, you’ll have to upgrade whether you want to or not which could lead to unwanted disruptions.
From a security perspective, there are distinct differences between cloud and on-premise PIM solutions. On-premise PIM software is often valued for its security measures, as data is stored on-site and you have complete control. As such, you’ll more scope to maintain integrity, confidentiality, and availability of critical data. You can also reinforce data security with firewalls as an added layer of protection.
Due to the advanced nature of infrastructures like AWS and Google, cloud technology offers excellent security. Often, cloud solutions will comply with international data privacy protocols, so you know your data will be in safe hands. Moreover, storing product data in the cloud means it’s always backed up and you can easily recover any compromised information.
Customer expectations are constantly on the rise, so speed and scalability will be key considerations for eCommerce businesses. When implementing a PIM on-premise system, all responsibilities are handled in-house. This means relying on your own resources and multiple departments to get the project up and running.
A cloud PIM system is ready to start using immediately. With a much faster deployment than an on-premise solution, you’ll be able to upload your product data quickly and enrich it for multiple eCommerce sales channels. This reduced time to market will significantly boost your competitive edge and you’ll gain vital extra selling days.
From a scalability perspective, there are also some key differences to note between cloud and on-premise PIM solutions. The physical nature of on-premise systems means users often have to be on-site to access product information. However, with cloud PIM, you can access everything you need, at any time, from anywhere with a secure internet connection. This can facilitate 24/7 operations, which is ideal if you’re looking to grow your operations internationally.
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With on-premise software, you’ll be reliant on your team to customize the platform. You may also have limitations with the number of other systems you can integrate with. On the other hand, you know you’ll always be working with the most up-to-date version of your cloud PIM. Your provider will carry out regular upgrades, and there’s often a lot more scope to integrate with other systems.
When you choose the right PIM solution for your business, you’ll get the best use of the platform. Likewise, you can boost productivity and the quality of your product data. In turn, this means you can deliver amazing product experiences that will drive conversion rates and online revenues.
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In short, the origin of on-premise comes from old technology that’s been built up over years. It may be difficult to maintain or keep secure, which could slow productivity and scalability. The cloud relies on the latest technology which drives business growth because it’s continuously improving. It’s an exceptional future-proof tool with continuous upgrades, so you can supercharge your eCommerce conversion strategy.
The way people shop and consume information will continue to evolve. As a result, that means you need to focus on technology that can quickly adapt to these changes. This will enable you to put your product data at the forefront of the consumer experience.
A cloud PIM gives you the means to stay competitive and deliver memorable shopping experiences for your customers. From reducing the need to rely on aging physical hardware, to streamlining how product data is managed, cloud software has multiple benefits, and now is the time to harness its awesome potential.
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