The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the course for businesses, forcing an overnight shift to online channels. This has been necessary to stay connected and competitive. The impact has been dramatic!
Traditional Desktop Vs Web Based Technology
Before making any business decisions, it is important to understand the basic differences between web and desktop technologies.
Traditional desktop business applications are installed on local computers or servers. They depend on the performance of hardware such as servers, computers, and cables. They can only be run from one location where they are set up.
In contrast, web-based applications are run entirely online, using the Internet and a standard web browser. The application sits in a completely managed environment on a fully maintained virtual server and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
Adapting to a Remote Working Environment
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the limitations of traditional desktop applications, overriding the initial resistance to adopting web-based software models. The ability to access web-based applications from anywhere has proven to be a popular alternative, especially as many companies migrated to work-from-home processes.
Businesses riddled with old, legacy desktop systems have found it impossible to adapt to working from home and were forced to shut their doors – some permanently. Other industries were able to pivot to remote sales and customer service, which has now become the easiest and most flexible way to run business tasks.
For most businesses, surviving COVID requires a major revamp – moving away from traditional software and connecting with customers more effectively within a remote online working environment.
The Need for Web-Based Technology Today
For many businesses, the decision to move to web-based technology has been a no brainer. A KPMG study revealed 59% of Australian company executives accelerated their technology transformation due to COVID-19. The need to quickly adapt to working from home is not a choice and the benefits of web-based systems can no longer be ignored.
During lockdowns, many businesses temporarily closed (some for good) because they were unable to cater for staff in the office. Statistics revealed One third of Australian businesses were unprepared to work from home.
On the other hand, web-based technology allowed businesses to access data from anywhere on any computer. Companies that adapted were able to run business as usual.
Most web applications can easily integrate with other web-based technologies to deliver a more comprehensive solution. This could include customer relationship management (CRM) systems, accounting, advertising, reviews management and more. Desktop systems simply do not have this level of interoperability.
By taking advantage of this, businesses can adjust to changes quicker.
Some software development companies can set up an entire web system in minutes (depending on your business). For example, in our industry, we can set up car dealers, mechanics and food and beverage vendors with a new business system in 15 minutes or less.
Plus, upgrades are automatic, so businesses will not need to do a thing after it is set up.
Cheaper to run
Businesses are often unaware of the hidden costs of traditional desktop software. An in-house server costs nearly $2,000 every month.
Running costs also include maintaining server rooms, local computers and cabling, which all add up.
But the most significant cost is hiring IT staff to support these systems at $55,000 per year. A web-based system does not have any of these costs – just a monthly subscription.
Nearly 66% of Australian businesses do not have sufficient systems to combat cyberattacks, which increased over 700% in the last few years. This problem is punctuated further with businesses managing their own servers. Some software developers host web-based technologies on trusted cloud solutions like Microsoft Azure, protecting business data on high-security servers.
This is far more practical and cost-effective than a business having to run their own servers.
Web-based systems are –
- Accessible from anywhere
- Easy to install and maintain
- More secure
- More scalable
- Cheaper to run
Web-based solutions will be the standard for digitalisation in the future as they extend a business owner’s ability to manage data in a way that suits them. As business and customer expectations grow, businesses must adopt modern technologies to optimise efficiency and minimise costs.
About the Author
Julie Peksis is the Managing Director of Jeal, an Australian family business over the last 40 years. Our company delivers web-based software programs EasyCars, Workshop Mate and EasyVend for Australian car dealerships, food and beverage businesses and mechanics. Our software development, web design, phone support and sales services are 100% Australian based, ensuring businesses receive trained support from a local team.