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Online vs Locally hosted Software

by Maverick on March 2, 2011

Given all the talk of the ‘Cloud’ and increasing proliferation of online software, we can expect the world to be hosted online completely in the near future.  But what are the benefits of using software hosted online?

Online Vs Locally Hosted Software Online vs Locally hosted Software

To answer this it’s useful to look at how the software works. Basically, the software is held on a server that can be located, literally, anywhere; and to use the software you open a web browser and load the web page you need.

For example, if you are in business and want to keep track of customers you can use an online CRM system, such as workbooks.com. To update a client’s record you load up a web-page, edit the record and then save it.  This is quick and easy, without the hassle of having to load up a programme on a PC, which can often prove to be very slow. Generally, online software also has simple, intuitive interfacesmaking them more straightforward to get to grips with.

But the real advantages of online software are not always visual.

The first advantage is the lack of anything to install. In the past getting software onto a computer could take hours. Now you have instant access, from any computer with a browser.

Nor does it matter which system you are using; PC, Mac or something else. It also means you always have the latest version. Having the latest version on locally hosted software would usually involve running an update or downloading it.

For the business user these advantages can be even greater. Software used to be expensive, with purchase costs, infrastructure costs, plus staff costs for running installations and updates. Now, with no additional infrastructure and easy start up processes the savings can be immense.

However, some people have pointed out that online software is not as secure. It is a valid point, but in fact the opposite may apply – security can actually be of a higher quality online. Locally hosted software is prone to virus attack unless security protection is working. Online software is held on servers with very high levels of security that are constantly updated.

What’s more, being held on large servers means data is usually backed up automatically and frequently. This is not always the case with locally held data.

The one major downside to online software is its reliance on the internet. It can be a problem if you lose your connection as you can no longer use the software. This does not happen with locally hosted software, so it is a real consideration. How much can you rely on your internet connection?

To summarise, online software is easy to use, always available from pretty much anywhere and can save money. Locally hosted software can only be used in one location, is often complex and may cost more.

It is little wonder online software is becoming more and more prevalent.

Author Bio: This article was written by Workbooks, leading supplier of web based CRM software.

For Further Reading:

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  7. Balance Your Company Cost – Outsource IT Support Jobs

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