Web-based software is any software that uses a website as the interface. This software is accessed using a browser rather than an application that has been installed on a computer. You are probably familiar with Microsoft Word, a common word processing application. Google Docs is Microsoft Word’s web-based counterpart. It too is a word-processing application, however its users perform functions using a web-browser rather than software installed on their computer.
You likely make use of web-based software already. If you do your banking online, or if you use an email program like Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo mail, than you already benefit from web-based software.
What are the business advantages of web-based software?
- Web-based software applications require no installation or hard drive space. Unlike regular desktop software which often requires an IT expert to install, web-based software is accessed through a website browser that uses the same standard operating system as your computer. You simply log on to a registered account and are able to begin using it right away.
- Web-based software lives in a virtual cloud in the internet which means seamless updates and simplified maintenance. Whenever you launch web-based software, you’re getting the latest version. Once a new version or upgrade to the software is made on the host server than all users have access to it. Because it is not necessary to update each user’s PC individually, rolling out new software is easily accomplished. And because the upgrades are only performed by an experienced professional to a single server, the results are more predictable and reliable.
Because web-based software is so easy to access, many providers give customers the opportunity to test their software applications free for a limited time in order to see what the product is like.
3. With web-based software, there is no potential for legacy software. Users who purchase previous versions of traditional desktop software almost always experience legacy issues which require costly support. This support is often inefficient for both user and vendor, and frequently results in higher maintenance and support costs.
4. Web-based software will save you money. Users access the system through a web-based browser. So while the user interaction with an application needs to be tested with the different web-browsers, the application only needs to be tested for a single operating system. Because development and troubleshooting are simplified, web-based software is more cost-effective than desktop software.
Because the browser is the platform for web-based software, maintenance and support costs for providers will go down. And because there is no need for shipping costs, printed manuals, boxes, etc., there will be a lower cost of sale. These benefits all lead to a lower software price entry point for customers.
5. Web-based software is available anywhere, anytime. If you have an internet connection, you have access to your software. You can use web-based software on your PC, your Mac, your iPad, even your smartphone. Even if you’re out of the office, you’ll be able to access the information you need.
6. With web-based software applications, your data will be backed up every day. It is also stored in multiple locations which means that you wont be losing any data.
7. Web-based software can be customized more easily than desktop applications. It is much easier to customize the appearance of information to different user groups.
8. Web-based applications are more secure, and often piracy-proof. These applications are largely deployed on dedicated servers which are overseen by specialized and experienced administrators. Desktop applications require monitoring hundreds or even thousands of client computers and are therefore less effective.
Web-based software will save you time, money, and frustration. Typically, the company hosting the software handles everything an IT department would usually do. Your only job is to do what matters to you and your business, they make sure the software allows you to do those things. When you use web-based software there is no need to worry about technical details, and you are able to focus on more important things- like running your business.