If you own a small business and web-based business solutions are not on your radar, they should be.
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They offer a great alternative to traditional software purchases and can eliminate the need to buy office equipment and computers.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of buying web-based business applications.
How Web-Based Business Solutions Can Save Money
Typically when you purchase a business application you have to install it onto a server or servers (depending on the application and the size of your organization).
Once it's up and running, one or more IT people are required to keep it running at peak efficiency. That's an expense, whether it's internal or external.
Then there are the monthly maintenance costs most software manufacturers require as part of the license. If there is a significant software upgrade there is another cost, and you again have to call on IT to complete the process. If the server goes bad there's an additional cost to replace the hardware.
Moving to Web-based model greatly reduces your overall costs. The big up-front cost for hardware and software is replaced by a small monthly fee. In most cases you don't even need any involvement from IT to get the service running -- it's all self-contained.
The same goes for hardware and software maintenance. It all happens behind the scenes, saving time and money while assuring you're benefiting from the software's latest features. Should a technical issue arise, one call to the supplier's tech support group generally solves the problem -- again at no cost to you.
Web-Based Solutions Are Becoming the Norm
This move to Web-based services isn't just for "outlier" applications anymore either.
Even core applications, such as your office productivity suite, are now moving away from the traditional client/server model to being Web-based. The reason is simple: because keeping applications running is their primary business instead of a utility, service providers dedicate considerably more resources to that function than internal IT departments, resulting in greater uptime.
If you're looking for ways to reduce business expenses, consider moving some of your software applications to the Web. It's a great way to cut costs without cutting effectiveness.