Are desktop applications dead?


Last month, I wrote about the potential benefits of web browser based-computing. This month, I go further and explain why we should all turn to the web.
Sometimes providers might be slow to place enterprise software in the cloud, making it harder to convince your workers to use browser-based applications.
But just because it is harder, should we avoid browser-based software? Open, easily adaptable, easily accessible – what excuse is there for still using desktop apps?
When it comes to working online, workers have one big fear – losing connectivity. It is all well-and-good having network access but what is the point if you lose access and lose your information?
Google users discovered the annoyance that comes with losing access to online applications recently, when the provider’s popular Gmail software was unavailable for a few hours.
Such problems are not great, but what would you rather trust? Your own email application running on a small data centre, or Google’s Gmail service that is backed by the world’s biggest infrastructure?
Like problems with offline access, some users are often put off browser-based software because of security concerns. IT consultancy firm Avanade recently found that, by a 5-to-1 ratio, respondents trust existing internal systems over cloud-based systems.
But like concerns with online access, the hype surrounding security is often more significant than the real life problems. Providers specialising in cloud-based security make it their business to ensure information is protected.
Can you say the same for internal staff, many of who have other business priorities and could – either intentionally or unintentionally – leave the door open to your priceless information?
Finally, some IT leaders are put off by business economics. Why would you choose to use browser-based computing when there is a smaller range of applications to choose from?
Again, the theory is quickly becoming redundant. From Salesforce.com’s first foray into online software through to Google’s Premier version of its apps suite, IT leaders now have a broad range of online choices.
And the choices are only likely to become greater, as more providers start to push their software into a highly resilient cloud. Start looking at web-based options now – because the earlier you start analysing your options, the larger your competitive edge on your opposition

Further reading

Gmail offline for some users

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7934443.stm

Security concerns for cloud computing

http://www.computerweekly.com/Articles/2009/03/27/235439/security-concerns-for-cloud-computing.htm


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