As cloud computing is quickly becoming the norm in IT environments, web applications are slowly replacing traditional software that is installed and hosted locally on desktops, laptops, and workstations. There are many options available but two of the most popular business productivity applications are Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Business. Both systems provide end users with Word Processing, Spreadsheet, Presentation, and Email capabilities. Both operate in the cloud, which provides businesses with multiple advantages over standalone “install and run” software.
Here are 3 benefits of using web business productivity apps as compared to traditional software.
1. Always Updated
Has this ever happened to you? You log onto your computer ready to start the work day, open an application, and then have to sit there idly as it installs an update? Some applications don’t even auto update and instead have an annoying pop-up notification which requires you to go to the website and download the most recent update or patch. With web applications, you never have to worry about this. As they are hosted off-site, the application provider is responsible for maintaining and updating the application. When you log on, you are guaranteed the most recent version of the software.
I can’t go as far as to say there is no installation required by the end user when using a web application, but you only have to install it once and then the app will update itself as the provider releases upgrades and patches. Google Apps for Work runs mostly on the web with an off-line component so you can use the apps without an internet connection. Microsoft Office 365 does install on the desktop, but because it is tied into the Microsoft Cloud, it is continuously updated.
2. Enhanced Collaboration
In addition to transferring the responsibility of monitoring and maintaining server and workstation environments for applications from the end user to the application provider, apps hosted in in the cloud provider users with incredible collaboration tools. With the standard software model, each employee has their work suite installed on their individual computer. Documents and other files are worked on by one person at a time and are either emailed to other users for reviews, edits, or additions; or they have to be saved on an internal document server. Web applications allow multiple users to collaborate on documents and other files in real-time, without having to email files back and forth.
Both Microsoft Office 365 and Google Apps for Work have incredible collaboration tools with both their productivity applications and their email platforms. With these apps, employees can conduct virtual meetings (with both voice and video), work on files and presentations together, and streamline operations by eliminating the lag of having to email files back and forth.
3. Work “On the Go”
The standard software model requires a user to work on one dedicated desktop or laptop. With web applications, users no longer need to be tied down to one device. As web apps are accessible via an internet connection, users can work on projects, accesses emails, and connect with their colleagues at any time, from anywhere, and on any device. Employees can pull files they need from the cloud, and work while travelling or make last minute edits to presentations from the comfort of their own home.