Both cloud-based and web-based applications can be useful for your small business. The differences between them make them a topic that you should do some research about before you commit to one or the other. If your company is able to function majorly online, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, then this information could be of use to you. Keep reading for more on the differences between web-based and cloud-based applications.
The first, and very important, difference between web-based and cloud-based applications is the necessity for an internet connection with web-based application platforms. Essentially, a web-based application is not usable if the application is not connected to the internet, so you will not be able to download or upload data until a connection is restored. Conversely, a cloud-based application will be able to perform tasks without an internet connection because the information is cached locally on the device where the application is downloaded, like with Microsoft Office 365, but an internet connection is required to save the work to the cloud.
If you have employees that frequently travel and need to be able to work while they are without the internet, then cloud-based applications could be the way to go. On the other hand, if your employees have frequent access to the internet, then a web-based application will serve your business well.
Another difference between these two types of applications is their ability to scale with the growth of your company. A benefit that cloud-based applications offer is that they can be scaled in two different ways: “vertically” by adding power to existing components like your processors and Solid State Drives (SSDs) or adding more memory, and “horizontally” by adding more servers to handle increased traffic and work. If your business is looking to grow in the future, then cloud-based applications will be the best fit to grow with you. Some web-based applications, on the other hand, are much more difficult, or even impossible to scale.
Aside from the technical side of the web-based versus cloud-based comparison is the factor of popularity. As business moves into an increasingly mobile format, businesspeople need to have the technology to accommodate change and movement. During the time that these changes to the business world have been happening, cloud-based technology has been growing just as rapidly. Applications like Gmail and Dropbox are huge names in the business world and represent the growing popularity of cloud-based applications. While this does not mean that the value of web-based applications has been voided, it does mean that technology is changing, and the business world should be watching to keep up with changes in technology.
The differences between cloud-based and web-based applications are subtle but significant. If your business wants to stay ahead of your competition and wants to keep up with the increasingly mobile business world, then cloud-based applications may be the best choice for you. In the end, each type of application is created to cater to a certain style of business, so you should always make a decision in light of what will be best for your business in the long run.