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Choosing Between Cloud and On-Premise Solutions in Your Art Gallery

Art professionals want to use digital tools to stay competitive. Learn what you should consider when comparing cloud and on-premise digital tools for your business.

By Team ARTERNAL on Monday July 25, 2022
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Digital sales are becoming increasingly popular in the art market, with customers spending thousands and sometimes millions from the comfort of their homes. Consequently, art galleries feel pressured to make their operations more digital but worry about protecting sensitive client data. 

While you surely appreciate the efficiency and collaboration benefits that cloud tools offer, you may wonder how they stack up against on-premise hardware — especially regarding security. This article will consider why digital tools like CRM and inventory management software are essential and whether on-premise or cloud solutions are better for art professionals.

CRM Technology Is Key to Competitive Sales

Before jumping into the pros and cons of cloud vs. on-premise solutions, it’s beneficial to consider why art professionals use a CRM with inventory management capabilities in the first place. After all, wouldn’t a spreadsheet serve the same purpose? 

Although the majority of art clients still shop in person, more and more people are shopping digitally. And in the high-stakes game of art sales, where a few key sales can be the difference to a successful year, you don’t want to miss out on any potential opportunities. Inventory management software allows you to use digital tools to sell your art and approach clients as you would in the gallery — providing provenance and context on each piece, compelling images, and allowing people to browse through your offer effortlessly. 
An added benefit to CRM software is data management and mobility. If you’re using spreadsheets, you’re likely storing data in several other places. Imagine if an artist cut up their painting and asked viewers to visualize the complete work by viewing the pieces separately. While it may be an interesting experiment, it wouldn’t be the ideal viewing experience. Similarly, piecing together disparate documents, spreadsheets, and scraps of paper to understand your potential clients is time-consuming and prone to data loss. ARTERNAL’s CRM and inventory management allows you to respond quickly to client requests with a comprehensive understanding of their needs — leveraging a mobile platform that’s always available.

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Should You Keep Your CRM and Inventory Management Solutions in the Cloud?

In the past, cloud solutions couldn’t compete with the full control of on-premise equipment. But over the last decade, there have been considerable improvements. Consider three key areas when comparing cloud vs. on-premise data storage solutions: security, scalability, and cost. 


In the early days of cloud computing, security was a big worry. However, companies have spent billions of dollars on cybersecurity each year, and this investment has significantly improved cloud security. Today, more companies choose cloud solutions because their IT teams can’t compete with the robust infrastructure of modern cloud operations. Leveraging a cloud provider’s infrastructure is often a more cost-effective way to enhance security. 


Multinational growth is the goal for most galleries. Nevertheless, if your systems aren’t designed for scale, you’ll experience technology growing pains. On-premise equipment gives you the flexibility to set up your infrastructure however you like, but scaling requires hardware investments. On the other hand, cloud providers fully manage the infrastructure behind cloud tools. Consequently, users can scale hardware up and down based on immediate needs without installing new hardware – which is especially important for fast-growing businesses and startups. 


On-premise and cloud computing have different pricing structures, the latter being more suitable for small businesses. On-premise computing requires companies to invest in hardware upfront, which can have high initial costs. Depending on the scale, on-premise users may have lower long-term costs but are subject to hardware investments every time there’s a surge in usage. In contrast, cloud computing users are charged a monthly fee that covers all the expenses of running your computing hardware, and scaling resources up and down only requires an adjustment to monthly costs. 

Technology is creating competitive advantages for today’s art gallery. You wouldn’t want to lose out on a highly sought-after artist due to a lack of vision; similarly, failure to embrace digital tools in your business may mean losing out to competitors. But since you can’t chase every new technology, it’s indispensable to choose your tools wisely. Consider features that are essential to your business requirements, such as a robust mobile experience. Fully mobile software will support your art team from wherever they are — providing the tools to close more deals.

ARTERNAL provides a complete sales solution built by art professionals for art professionals. It addresses industry pain points with our Smart Mail CRM, intuitive inventory system, and financial insights. Contact us to schedule a demo today.

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