Some churches wonder why Seraphim is a cloud-based software, and would prefer to have a "box-onsite" database in case of internet issues. Below, you'll learn our reasoning for moving toward the cloud.
Traditionally, on premise software has had the benefit of using a local network and not requiring internet to be up at all. While this is something that sounds great on the surface, it masks other things which must also be in your hands. Chief among these is the local database server, database itself, operating system, network load balancers and all the processes that are wrapped around that - namely backup and recovery and scale out for events like Christmas and Easter.
Cloud based software does require an internet connection, but there are no local servers to purchase (which is actually the cheapest part of the on-premise approach - maintaining those servers is going to require a human resource and engineering expertise). The cloud provides the database server, database software, security, network load balancing and scale out, while also providing back up and recovery processes that you don't need to worry about.
Another thing to consider for on-premise systems is what we call "scale out". On most weekends, your church network will be experiencing "normal" wear and tear, but on Christmas and Easter, where your congregation can swell to 2 or 3 times it's normal size, you would need to have a hardware solution that can handle these sorts of spikes.
This is especially true for things like safe check in for children. Seraphim provides a capability that monitors how busy our server farm is and if it starts getting overloaded, it will automatically start up new servers to manage the load. This is invisible to you at the church level. It just looks like one seamless experience for your check-in process.
Additionally, another thing that's so easy to overlook is that the management of the server itself is something Seraphim takes care of - software/firmware patches, new versions of the database, faster hard drives as technology matures - that's all the vendor's responsibility. Because we are managing this in bulk your church gets to take advantage of economics that would be hard to justify for a single church.
There are many other advantages of a cloud based system - geocoding addresses on the fly, helping with complicated spelling of names you've never seen (but other churches have encountered), etc.
In the end, you can see the benefits of having a cloud based software!