Migrate Business Central from on-premises to the Cloud

Tired of costly on-premises ERP systems that can't scale with your business? Switching to Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud could be the answer. Below, you can learn the about the key benefits of upgrading to a cloud-based ERP solution and how to tackle migration challenges for a seamless switch.

Considering the switch to Business Central Cloud?

More and more businesses are moving from on-premises ERP systems to cloud-based solutions like Business Central Cloud. This move is popular because it helps companies become more efficient, flexible, and save money.  

Cloud solutions are easier and cheaper to start with compared to traditional on-premises systems. They also update automatically, saving you money on equipment and maintenance costs. Cloud systems are also secure, scalable, and accessible from anywhere, helping businesses to adapt quickly. In this article, we'll dive into the nine key benefits of making the switch from Business Central on-premises to the Cloud. 

The disadvantages of on-premises solutions

Before exploring the benefits of a cloud system, it's important to understand the limits of on-premises ERP systems. These issues highlight why businesses are increasingly moving away from traditional setups.

High initial costs

On-premises ERP systems like Business Central require a large initial investment in hardware, software licenses, and infrastructure. This can be a major financial burden, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.


Maintenance and upgrades

Maintaining an on-premises system requires ongoing effort and resources. Regular hardware upgrades, software patches, and IT staff for support increases business costs and complexity.


Limited scalability

Scaling an on-premises ERP system for business growth may require purchasing additional hardware and licenses. This has the potential to be expensive and time-consuming.


Disaster recovery challenges

On-premises systems typically rely on local backups. These backups may not be easy to restore in case of a disaster, putting your critical business data at risk.


Accessibility issues

Remote access to on-premises ERP systems can be challenging. You might have to use VPNs or other solutions to access them. However, these solutions may not be as user-friendly as cloud-based systems.


Higher energy and space requirements

On-premises servers consume a lot of energy and require physical space for storage. This could lead to higher utility costs and the need for additional space in your facility. This may not be ideal for every business.

9 benefits of on-premises to cloud migration

  • 1. Cost savings with SaaS (Software as a Service)

    Switching to a cloud-based ERP solution like Dynamics 365 Business Central Cloud can significantly reduce your costs. Unlike on-premises systems, which demand substantial investments, the SaaS model offers a flexible subscription-based licensing plan. This approach eliminates the need for costly infrastructure and provides predictable, manageable expenses.

    Business Central Cloud offers flexible, user-based licensing options like Essential, Premium, and Team Member. The monthly subscription model is cost effective as it allows your business to scale and adjust users as needed. You can also enhance your system with add-on modules, so your company only pays for the features you need.

  • 2. Enhanced data security and compliance

    Data privacy and security are huge concerns for any business. Business Central Cloud uses Microsoft's robust cloud infrastructure, which offers tight security and compliance with global standards. This ensures that your data is protected and meets regulatory requirements, providing you with peace of mind.

  • 3. Cloud scalability and flexibility

    One of the biggest benefits of a cloud-based ERP solution is its scalability. As your business grows, Business Central Cloud can easily scale to accommodate increased workloads and users. This flexibility makes it easy for you to adjust your ERP system without significant costs or disruptions to your business.

  • 4. Automatic updates and upgrades

    With an on-premises system, keeping your ERP software up to date requires manual updates and often results in significant downtime. Switching to Business Central Cloud ensures that you'll receive automatic updates and upgrades. This means that your business will always operate on the most recent and secure version of the software. You won't have to manually intervene in order to keep your system up to date!

  • 5. Improved collaboration and accessibility

    Unlike on-premises systems, cloud-based ERP solutions provide you with unmatched accessibility. Your staff can use Business Central from any location and device with internet access, at any time. This improved access ensures better collaboration among your teams, enhancing productivity and supporting remote work.

  • 6. Streamlined ERP implementation

    Implementing an on-premises ERP system can be complex and time-consuming. Moving to a cloud-based approach ensures quick and easy setup, so you can reap the benefits sooner. With Business Central Cloud, deployment is fast, and it doesn't need extensive on-site infrastructure.

  • 7. Enhanced business continuity and disaster recovery

    Business Central Cloud migration significantly enhances your business's durability and disaster recovery capabilities. The system regularly backs up your data and can restore it quickly if there's a disaster. This resilience ensures that your business can continue operations with few disruptions, safeguarding your critical business processes.

  • 8. Comprehensive support and maintenance

    Business Central Cloud offers superior support compared to on-premises. Microsoft and its partners provide services to quickly resolve your issues, reducing your IT team's workload. On-premises deployments often need internal IT teams to manage updates, backups, and security. In contrast, cloud-based solutions benefit from automatic updates, maintaining the latest features and security with no need for manual intervention.

  • 9. Advanced analytics and real-time insights

    Migrating to Business Central Cloud provides you with access to advanced analytics and real-time insights. With the power of cloud computing, your business can analyze large amounts of data quickly. This enables better decision-making and more effective strategy development. Real-time data availability ensures that your business can respond fast to changing market conditions and business needs.

Addressing migration challenges

Now that we've outlined the benefits, we must address the challenges your company may face during cloud migration. It's no secret that transitioning from an on-premises ERP system to the cloud can pose several challenges. However, your business can effectively manage these issues with careful planning and the right cloud migration strategy.

Image: Cloud migration challenges

Image: Cloud migration challenges

Accurate data transfer

To move Business Central from on-premises to the cloud smoothly, you need to ensure accurate data transfer. Partnering with a Microsoft Dynamics expert can help you create a solid data migration plan, reducing risks and keeping your data accurate.


Resistance to change

Migrating to a new system can result in some pushback from employees. Due to this, it's important to communicate the benefits and changes across the company. You should also ensure you provide enough training for a smooth transition. Make sure you engage employees early on in the process to gain their support and address any concerns.


Compatibility issues

Assessing your current system's customizations and integrations is crucial to a successful migration. Work with experts to identify which customizations can be moved to the new cloud system. You should also find out how integrations with third-party add-ons, such as Continia's solutions, will be managed in the new cloud environment.


Data security & compliance

Ensure that the migration process adheres to all security and compliance requirements. You can use Business Central Cloud's robust security features to protect your data and meet regulatory standards.


Workplace disruptions

Plan the migration to minimize downtime and ensure that your core business processes continue without interruptions. A phased migration approach can help you in transitioning different parts of the system without causing significant disruptions.

Embrace the future with Business Central Cloud

Switching from Business Central on-premises to the cloud offers multiple advantages that can help you transform your business operations. The benefits of cloud migration include significant cost savings, enhanced data security, scalability, automatic updates, improved collaboration, streamlined implementation, and superior support.

To migrate your data effectively and overcome the challenges, it's important you have a well-planned cloud migration strategy. This involves ensuring accurate data migration, managing change effectively, and assessing customizations and integrations. You should also ensure you adhere to security and compliance standards and try to minimize downtime to maintain business continuity.

When looking at Business Central on-premises vs. Cloud, it's clear that the advantages of cloud make it a smart choice. This is especially true for businesses looking to innovate and grow. Embrace the future with Business Central Cloud and unlock new efficiencies and opportunities for your organization.

Migrating to the cloud? Take your Continia solutions with you!

Switching to the cloud with Continia is easy. Transfer your data seamlessly during migration and download our solutions from AppSource. Setup takes less than 15 minutes!

New to Continia? Our Business Central add-ons automate up to 90% of manual tasks, boosting accuracy and cash flow. Discover more on our solutions page.

Read more on our solutions

Frequently asked questions

  • What is cloud migration?

    Cloud migration involves moving your business operations, applications, and data from local servers to a cloud-based infrastructure. For Dynamics 365 Business Central users, this means transitioning from the traditional on-premise system to the cloud. This shift enhances flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness by leveraging the cloud's robust infrastructure.

  • What is cloud computing?

    Cloud computing refers to internet-based services for things like servers, storage, databases, networking, software, and data analysis. For Business Central users, this means accessing the software via the internet. This enables real-time collaboration, automated billing, and seamless updates without the need for physical hardware.

  • Why migrate from on-premises to cloud?

    Migrating from on-premises to the cloud offers numerous benefits:

    • Cost savings: Lower hardware and maintenance costs with a cloud-based ERP solution.
    • Scalability: Easily scale resources up or down based on your business needs.
    • Accessibility: Access your ERP system from anywhere, enabling remote work and real-time collaboration.
    • Updates and maintenance: Benefit from automatic updates and reduced downtime.
  • Why are companies moving to the cloud?

    Companies are moving to the cloud for several reasons:

    • Cost-effective: Cloud-based ERP solutions like Business Central save money with SaaS models.
    • Enhanced security: Better data security and compliance with international standards.
    • Flexibility: Flexible subscription-based licensing and scalability to meet changing business needs.
    • Innovation: Access to the latest technologies and features without needing large IT infrastructure investments.
  • How to migrate from on-premises to cloud?

    Migrating your Business Central from on-premises to the cloud involves several steps:

    • Assessment: Evaluate your current setup and decide which business processes and data need to be moved.
    • Planning: Create a detailed plan for the migration, including timelines and resource allocation.
    • Data migration: Extract, transform, and load your data into Business Central cloud.
    • Testing: Check the migrated data and make sure everything works correctly.
    • Go live: Transition to the cloud environment and monitor performance.

    Read here to find out more.

  • What are the disadvantages of cloud computing?

    Some disadvantages of cloud computing include dependency on internet connection, potential downtime, and data privacy concerns. There can also be challenges with data migration and integration with existing systems. Despite these issues, the benefits of cloud-based ERP solutions, like cost savings, scalability, and flexible subscription-based licensing, often make it worth it.

  • What are the security risks of cloud computing?

    While cloud computing has many advantages, it also comes with security risks like data breaches, data loss, and cyberattacks. Ensuring data privacy and security is critical. Dynamics 365 Business Central cloud provides security measures, including data encryption, compliance with international standards, and regular security updates to reduce these risks.