Which small business software is right for you? One of the most fundamental options you face today is whether to buy a cloud solution or a on-premise solution. For this article, I wanted to share the pros and cons of each option.
|Cloud-based Software||Desktop Software|
With the cloud, you are perpetually “renting” access to your software. You pay a smaller amount on a monthly or annual basis, but over time, you may end up spending more than if you had just purchased the software.
|You pay in full up-front for the cost of the software. You often then receive updates until the next version is released, and then you pay for the upgrade.|
|Functionality||Feature may differ. Requires analyzing the areas most important to you. Even the same software program, like “QuickBooks Pro and QuickBooks Online” may have differences between their online and desktop functionality.||Feature may differ. Requires analyzing the areas most important to you.|
Software can typically be accessed from any website browser. However, when you don’t have an Internet connection, you usually won’t be able to use the software.
|You may be able to access your software remotely through a VPN connection. Otherwise, you’ll have to be in the same physical location as the software to use the software.|
|Security||Any information stored on the web can be vulnerable to hackers. However, most cloud providers have instituted multiple levels of security to prevent intrusions.||Information stored on a local desktop or server must be backed up to multiple locations and stored off site. Otherwise, you could lose all your data due to fire, flood or theft.|
|Administration||The cloud software provider provides all the infrastructure. They take care of security, backups, patches, and upgrades.||You’ll need an IT resource to manage the IT environment, manage upgrades, and create policies for rolling out new versions of the software.|
Many small businesses are moving toward cloud-based software due to its affordability, ease of use and lower IT administration costs. But every software solution is slightly different. We’re happy to help you understand which option is best for your company.