Why most back office software has switched to web-based

There has been a push in recent times to move back office software online. With the prevalence of high speed internet, even on mobile devices, there are some good reasons for this. While there is still a place for desktop applications, web-based custom software offers several benefits over installed software.

Pros of web-based software

  • Available anywhere – Web-based custom software can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, even from a smartphone (if the software has been designed with mobile devices in mind). This makes it easier to onboard new users, as software doesn’t have to be installed. Users can just be provided with the URL and login details.
  • Less dependent on hardware – The performance of web-based software isn’t as reliant on your device’s hardware as installed software is. This means it’ll work even on older machines.
  • Easier updates and upgrades – Rather than having to download and install updates on every machine, your web-based software is updated and upgraded online. Whenever you access it, you’ll be using the latest version.

Cons of web-based software

  • Internet is required – While internet access is now considered a human right by the UN, there may be areas or periods of time when it is not available. Load-shedding here in South Africa can mean users lose their fixed line connection, and there are parts of the country that don’t have good cell coverage. These risks can be mitigated by supplying remote workers with a UPS to provide power to modems and routers in the event of a power outage, and providing users in remote locations with mobile modems or satellite internet.
  • Security concerns – Because web-based software is hosted in the cloud, there is always the risk of a cyber attack. This could expose confidential information, disrupt performance, or cause data to be lost. It’s important to ensure that the proper security protocols are in place and kept up to date, and that databases are being backed up regularly. Fortunately, security updates can be applied much faster and easier to a web-based application than having to update every machine, as would be the case with desktop software.

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