They both have both advantages and disadvantages to take into consideration when taking the job management leap. We’ll be looking at what exactly these software options are and the benefits of both so you can choose which is best for you and your business.
What is Cloud-Based Software?
Cloud-based software is and has been a huge buzzword for a few years now, but what does it mean? Is it worth it?
It refers to software that you can access on-demand over the internet. There are a few different types of cloud computing, and the setup can range depending on the type of program you’re looking for. When asking yourself if it’s worth it or not, it really depends on your own preferences and business needs.
With cloud software, you don’t have to install your own software or configure it. Your chosen cloud supplier will be carrying out a lot of the metaphorical heavy lifting. You don’t need to worry about hosting and maintaining the server and your team can use it anywhere on a mobile device, laptop or tablet. You just need an internet connection.
So, what does that have to do with Clik’s software solutions?
Our central job management software and CRM hub, Clik Service is not traditionally cloud-based. There are a few ways to access it through the internet and get a cloud experience. Because of this, Clik will be able to cater to your business, whether you want a cloud setup or a more traditional on-premises one.
What is On-Premises Software?
On-premises – or on-prem – software is installed, hosted and managed on your PC or server. It basically refers to any third-party software licenced for use on a computer.
Unlike cloud solutions or web-based software, they don’t need an internet connection to connect. As everything is hosted on your local server/PC, you can access it whenever you are using that desktop computer.
Clik Service, NICEIC Cert Software and Clik Cert are all typically on-premises programs; you will need to install them on your own PC/server. You don’t need to use the internet to use them, and you can manage your data locally.
Benefits of Cloud and On-Premises Software
So now you know more about each of these software installation types. But how do you decide which is best for your business? We’re going to break these down into a few different categories so you can see for yourself which has the best benefits:
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail.
First things first, the installation. It’s the first thing you’ll need to do when getting started with any type of software, so it’s important that the process is straightforward.
You won’t need to install anything on a server or client machine with a cloud-based solution, it’s all ready to go on your web browser. This is typically a quick process to get you started right away.
Hosting on the cloud also means you don’t need to fill up your servers or maintain the software yourself. So, if you’re a smaller company looking for a service management software solution, you don’t need to worry about not having a dedicated IT team.
With desktop software, you will need to download and manually install it. The software supplier can assist through the setup process to ensure it’s working correctly. This is a longer process, but it will include the steps to migrate your data and get you acquainted with your new tool.
You will also need to host it locally, carry out backups regularly and make sure everything is stored securely. This can be a preferable solution if you want to host and manage all your data in-house.
With cloud software, you can access everything you need from anywhere, at any time. You don’t need to worry about setting up a VPN to get access. As it’s managed by your chosen supplier, you won’t run into problems when you accidentally power off the main computer.
This is also great for colleagues that work from home or for engineers on the move. They can access job sheets, client details and more on their mobile device. In this case, they’ll just need to make sure they have a stable internet connection for uninterrupted access.
A potential drawback for accessing cloud software would be if the server experiences technical issues. In this case, you wouldn’t have full access to your work until the third party resolves the problems.
Desktop software does have a few options to access remotely, such as a VPN and remote access server, but it does have limitations. Typically, you wouldn’t be able to access the full service on a tablet or mobile.
On-premises software does have the benefit of not requiring an internet connection. If there is a power outage or an issue with cloud servers, you can continue your work.
The speed and responsiveness of your applications depend on a few different factors.
Cloud software usually means via a web browser, which means it’s only as powerful as the browser and internet connection. Over the years, this has improved through faster internet capabilities, but it can sometimes be unreliable. It can be especially fickle if you’re moving around a lot.
For desktop, you are more reliant on your own PC’s capabilities. If you’re a small business or SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) with a less reliable internet connection, this could be the best solution for you.
For a cloud-based system, customisation and useability might not be simple. The cloud is more rigid, with less scope for editable fields and configurable options.
For simpler tasks, such as viewing and creating jobs, this is where web-based software can really come into its own. A simple and restricted interface is preferable for customers and engineers on site.
As great as it is to access your software tools on your mobile, it does have limits. Hosting on the cloud can restrict software tools and result in less in-depth features to really take your management to the next level.
Desktop systems still have a far greater intuitive interface than using software through a web browser. They can be packed to the brim with complex features that are more tweakable and adaptable to your business.
For example, you can change field layouts for your job sheets on a program such as Clik Service. There is so much scope to add your own user fields unique to your clients, create action lists to detail your processes and more.
This one is more of a personal preference. You might want to be totally in control of your own data, if so then desktop software is for you. But if you rather not have to manage your server, then a cloud solution might be more suitable.
With cloud solutions, it can be a little different. For SaaS (software-as-a-service) solutions, your data is most likely going to be hosted and managed by your chosen third party. This might be preferable if you don’t want to manage the IT infrastructure
Whether your provider is YourOfficeAnywhere or Azure, it is important to be aware of who actually manages your applications. If anything does go wrong with the server, it might be their job to fix it for you. In the meantime, you may be unable to access your data during the downtime.
With on-premises software, you own the data. You will always have the software; it’s yours for life. This means you can install and manage it at your own pace, and you’ll have total control of everything.
For Clik Service, you own the software as soon as you purchase. That means you also own all the data contained within the software. With necessary backups in place, you don’t need to worry about losing your data.
Similarly to the ownership, security will be in the hands of your supplier. This can be a better option for companies that don’t have a dedicated IT support team to manage their data.
If your business has extra sensitive information, a cloud-based system might not cut it. In this case, it would be better to take control of your data in-house.
Cyber security is incredibly important to consider when looking for software. With on-premises software, you have total control over the security of your data. This way, you can fortify your defences in case of security breaches.
There are many ways you can help protect yourself from potential threats. A good starting point would be to set up strong passwords for your users.
Here at Clik, we take cyber security seriously. We have carried out various testing to identify any potential vulnerabilities and completed accreditations to verify our dedication to securing our IT and software.
We know that the cost of the solution is a big factor for businesses to consider.
Typically, cloud-based software has a monthly rental charge. The setup fee for the cloud is initially cheaper, but as time goes on it may get far more expensive, as the monthly payments outweigh the initial cost for the desktop program.
It does vary a lot, so it’s worth looking into the different options prior to investing in job management software.
With desktop software, there is an upfront cost for the software and an annual support cost. That might sound like a lot to put together initially, but once you purchased, the software is completely yours. This means the total cost of ownership, in the long run, will be lower compared to the cloud monthly running costs.
Clik Service, Clik Cert and the NICEIC Cert Software are quite reasonably priced, with an upfront cost to purchase the software outright. Annual cover then ensures you have all the latest updates and new features as soon as they’re released. It also gives you access to our knowledgeable support team.
For a full rundown of costs for each program, please get in touch with our sales team.
So, in conclusion, both on-premises and cloud-based software have big pros and cons. Here at Clik, we have options for both on-premises and cloud-based solutions, so you can easily move in either direction.