The Benefits of Web-Based Systems for Business
Web-based applications used to be very limited in functionality. However, advances in technology, security, and internet speeds have greatly increased the potential scope of web-based systems. Today, we have web-based business accounting systems, web-based CRM systems, a web-based Microsoft Office, and more. Web-based applications offer some significant advantages over native, client-based software. Here are just some of the benefits of web-based apps for business.
What is a Web-Based System?
A web-based system is an application that is accessed via HTTP. The term web-based is usually used to describe applications that run in a web browser. It can, though, also be used to describe applications that have a very small component of the solution loaded on the client PC. The host server for a web-based system could be a local server, or it could be accessed via the internet.
Lower Development Costs
A web-based application runs in a web browser. That means that a single, responsive web application can be used across multiple device types. Although web apps will need to be tested on different browsers, there is no need to test them on different operating systems. This makes development and testing much easier. It cuts development costs and reduces development time.
Easy Installation and Maintenance
Unlike traditional software that is loaded on each device, web applications run from a host server. There is no installation on local machines. Software upgrades are all completed centrally. That reduces the costs of installing and upgrading software. It also ensures that all users are always using the same version of the software.
Users can access a web-based system anywhere. So long as they have an internet connection, a web browser, and the appropriate login details. This means that users can access the data they need when they are away from the office. It also brings the possibility of staff working from home.
Easy Data Sharing and Collaboration
The sharing of data and collaborating on projects is made much easier with web-based systems. Data is stored in one central location, so users can share data and work together on projects. It is also easier to integrate web-based systems than isolated desktop applications.
As web apps are installed on web servers, security is controlled by an IT professional. That avoids sensitive corporate information being held on many local client PCs, which are not as secure. Employees can access data when they are away from the office via a web application. So, it is not necessary for data to be held anywhere other than the secure central location.
Reduced Hardware Costs
Web-based systems can eliminate the need for powerful client PCs. Processing is carried out on the host server. The host server can be engineered to efficiently service simultaneous, peak demand. So, the storage, processor, and memory requirements for client PCs can be reduced. Taken across an entire organization, this can represent a large cost saving for some businesses.
In most businesses, the deployment of web-based solutions leads to the streamlining of business processes. Often, paper-based processes can be replaced by workflow-based solutions. The business process improvements can lead to higher employee productivity and lower costs.
Adaptable to Changing Workloads
The deployment of web-based applications requires no software loading on the client PC. All that is needed is the setting up of a new user and the relevant secure access controls. This can be a major benefit for growing businesses, or for seasonal businesses. Users can be added or removed very quickly.
Greater Availability of Information
Web-based systems make it easier to provide access to real-time information. The paper reports that might take days to prepare and distribute can be replaced on online reports and digital dashboards. That can improve the quality and the speed of decision making, right across an organization.
Web-based application development can provide businesses with significant cost savings and productivity improvements. Now that internet access is almost universally available and internet speeds have significantly improved, applications that previously had to be client based can now be deployed on the web.
Although this is the case in developed Western countries, it is not the case worldwide. In some countries, internet access is unreliable. So, the major deployment of web-based applications may still not be possible. International organizations with overseas offices may not yet be able to take full advantage of web-based solutions.
For domestic organizations, though, web-based systems have a promising future. From web-based office applications, like content management systems and productivity applications, to custom web-based software developed specifically for your organization, the foundation of many future software solutions is likely to be web-based.