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Cloud Based Software vs Desktop Software

Do Cloud Based Software fit user needs better than Desktop solutions? We’ll discuss the differences between cloud-based and desktop applications and their advantages and disadvantages.

Years back, it was much easier for business owners to make choices when automating business operations. For example, if they want a system that supports accounting and payroll, they use an application on their computer.

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However, cloud based apps have continued to grow and develop with the introduction of cloud computing.

Cloud Based and Desktop Software

Software Developers create cloud based and desktop applications, but they have several differences. However, some organizations use both software types.

What is Cloud Based Software?

Users access Cloud Based Software via a web browser or dedicated client application. Meanwhile, you must install desktop applications on a local computer or on-premises server. Unlike traditional Desktop Software, cloud based apps are hosted and delivered over the Internet.

Examples of this software type include the following: 

The prices of cloud based applications are similar to those of desktop apps. Not only are these applications paid via subscriptions, but they offer these perks, too:

  • Scalability;
  • Customizability;
  • Flexibility, and
  • Greater collaboration. 

Contrast these advantages with a standard desktop app. Thus, cloud based apps can significantly lower your company’s IT expenses and overhead. 

Top Advantages When Using Cloud Backups

What is Desktop Software?

Traditional software is another term for Desktop Software. It refers to computer programs and applications installed and run directly on a local computer or on-premises servers. Users can access and use desktop apps on a specific device, operating primarily offline and, in some cases, online.

Software or app developers are often tasked with creating such programs, especially custom-made ones. You can count on a Software Developer from the Philippines to design the right one for your business!

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Desktop applications offer users more control over their data, but they may not be as flexible as other software. Customers pay for them upfront and install them locally, so they tend to have substantial costs and need regular maintenance.

Examples of this software include the following: 

  • Microsoft Office
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • AutoCAD
  • Final Cut Pro

Although desktop apps have some cost-related disadvantages, they’re stable and allow users to access data offline. Organizations may choose between desktop and cloud based solutions based on their requirements.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Based and Desktop Software

A Software Developer in the Philippines can assess and advise organizations about the right app for their needs. Thus, you must consider various things when choosing from cloud or desktop applications. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Advantages of Cloud Based Software

Near-Unlimited Data Storage

The first significant advantage of cloud based applications is accessibility. Data is stored on the cloud and accessible with an Internet connection. 

When to Consider Using Cloud Software Solutions

The software is accessible online, so you can use it on your preferred device(s)! Organizations and individuals don’t need a complex IT infrastructure on the premises for the software to work.

Thus, its cross-platform compatibility feature allows your organization to collaborate more effectively, making remote work more straightforward.

Customer Subscriptions

Cloud infrastructure spending will “reach $1.35 trillion by 2027.” Cloud Based Software typically follows a cost-effective and convenient subscription basis. Customers regularly pay for software access instead of purchasing it at once. Thus, they can pay for as little or as much of the application as they need.

Some providers offer varied pricing plans or tiers with different features or usage limits. Users can often choose payment frequencies, such as monthly or annually. Customers can scale their subscriptions and can even cancel them anytime. 

Maintenance and Updates

Cloud software providers and Software Developers from the Philippines will often take care of app maintenance and updates. Thus, users can access the latest features and security patches without worrying about manual installations or updates.

Also, reliable providers offer security measures such as Data Encryption, access controls, and backup and recovery options.

Flexibility and Scalability

Cloud applications depend on Internet connectivity, but some apps may have an offline option for greater flexibility.

Also, thanks to their scalability, cloud based apps are ideal for organizations with fluctuating demands. Again, this software type allows users to utilize only features that suit your organization’s needs.

Lastly, cloud solutions facilitate real-time collaboration among users. Thus, it enables data sharing and greater mobility. 

Security, Backup, and Recovery

Cloud apps are popular because of their convenience, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability. It’s perfect for the evolving needs of organizations and individual users. 

However, because of the nature of cloud solutions, users must also consider data security and privacy. Your chosen cloud services may host sensitive information, so you must keep it under wraps. After all, 60% of corporate data is already shared with the cloud.

Statista Percent Of Corporate Data Stored

Source: Statista.

Fortunately, the software provides almost unlimited storage capacity, so it’s easier to back up your files. In addition to security measures, software providers include robust backup and recovery mechanisms to prevent data loss.

A Software Developer in the Philippines can create a business application with multiple safeguards to protect your data.

Disadvantages of Cloud Based Software

Performance is Dependent on Connection

Your organization may encounter network and connectivity problems from time to time. Cloud based applications rely on Internet connectivity, so the application’s performance depends on the connection.

Unreliable or intermittent connection may not be a good combination with cloud based apps. Also, Internet service interruptions may reduce the software’s functionality, lowering productivity levels.

Uploading and downloading data — especially large amounts of data — to and from the cloud can be slow, with a poor connection. 

Data Privacy Concerns

Storing company data on the cloud can make it vulnerable to security threats and malicious individuals. As a result, there’s a risk of data breaches or unauthorized access. It can lead to significant data privacy and security concerns, especially if your organization handles sensitive or regulated data.

FinancesOnline Top 5 Cloud Security Concerns

Source: FinancesOnline.

Data stored in the cloud may be subject to the hosting country’s laws. This may cause compliance issues with international organizations or businesses. 

Another potential cybersecurity risk is data loss, which can occur due to server failures or breaches. In such cases, cloud providers must offer adequate backup and recovery measures. This is why it’s important to choose service providers or Software Developers in the Philippines who offer secure applications.

Costs Can Pile Up

Because of lower upfront costs, cloud solutions are attractive for many organizations and individuals. But, the subscription fees can accumulate over time. Sometimes, the fees for long-term software usage can even exceed the cost of a one-time purchase for a desktop solution. 

You must also consider the cost of implementing security measures. Protecting sensitive information may require more upfront spending, resulting in better customer relationships.

Advantages of Desktop Software

No Connection Needed

Desktop applications are always on the premises and don’t require a constant Internet connection. After installation on a local computer or server, users can access it even without the Internet. Thus, it can be helpful for users who are in remote areas or have no consistent connections available.

Offline access is a critical advantage over cloud solutions, as they don’t need connectivity to function correctly. As a result, this type of software won’t slow down your organization!

Works Offline

Desktop Software works offline, so its consistent functionality allows users to rely on the same tools and capabilities.

This type of software ensures a seamless experience regardless of connectivity status. Organizations can enjoy consistent functionality and reliable performance.

Application Software that Makes Your Business Processes More Efficient

Disadvantages of Desktop Software

Works Only on the Local Device 

Desktop solutions run only on local devices like personal computers or servers within an organization’s network. The software only works on one device, so you need to install it separately on other devices. A Software Developer in the Philippines can handle the installation process!

Though an advantageous feature most times, it does mean that if an incident or calamity affects the office, you may lose data. These incidents may include fire, floods, data breaches or loss. Any damages to the office units or reformatting may result in data loss.

So, storing data solely on-premises is risky compared to cloud backups, which are accessible even during those incidents.

Lastly, desktop solutions mean limited remote access and flexibility. Thus, it’s inconvenient for users who require flexibility and mobility as they work.

The Software Package is Fixed

Desktop applications run locally and come in a fixed package with standard features and capabilities for organizations and individuals. Because desktop applications are built-in software, they’re not scalable. Also, most desktop apps have modules or features that don’t meet the company’s needs.

After all, limited accessibility,  hardware dependencies, and lack of multi-device support result in limited collaboration. In comparison, Cloud Based Software offers more scalable solutions through cloud infrastructure.

Another disadvantage of desktop apps is that they can become obsolete quickly. So, it may no longer be compatible with devices or units after a few years. Of course, regular updates and support can ensure that the software continues working as intended.

Desktop apps are a preferred solution for complex tasks such as the following:

  • Document management and editing
  • Graphic design
  • Animation
  • Computer-Aided Design or CAD
  • Software programming and development
  • Database management
  • Data analysis
  • Project management, etc.

 Thus, many professional users will want to use traditional software.

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The Users Must Make Updates

With desktop applications, the user is responsible for updates, upgrades, and patches. So, they must regularly monitor for software updates and then download and install them promptly. 

It can be time-consuming and require technical experience from an on-premises software expert.

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However, updates allow you to use the software’s full range of features. It also prevents hackers from taking advantage of security vulnerabilities.

Needs Assistance to Manage the Software 

Some software usage scenarios may require contact with the provider. For instance, you may need help installing and maintaining the application. 

Alternatively, you can have an on-site software support specialist for installation and update concerns. Desktop app management in enterprise settings requires IT assistance.

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Employ the Software of Your Choice Today!

Cloud Based and Desktop Software have their advantages and disadvantages. But you need to consider your business needs and budget.

Generally, cloud based applications are best for speed and portability. Not only that, but cloud software by a reliable software developer is also more secure.

On the other hand, desktop solutions are the better choice if you have accessibility concerns. Still, regarding security, data can be lost from desktop applications due to unforeseen incidents and calamities.

It all boils down to your preferences and requirements. However, your organization may have both software types to ensure the highest quality of work.

More than that, you must also choose the most reliable service provider and Software Developer in the Philippines.

Xenia Labis


Xenia loves to learn and share what she has learned. She gathers all her learnings through reading books, watching videos and deep conversations. Nevertheless, she believes that the greatest learnings she has gathered are through her experiences.

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Comment 1

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    Jan 21st, 2019 - 7:08 pm - Reply

    Enjoyed reading the article above , really explains everything in detail,the article is very interesting and effective.Your all point is very good & knowledgeable.Thank you for sharing

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