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Web vs Desktop Apps From Business Owner’s Perspective

25 November 2020

There are dozens of brief or detailed comparisons between web- and desktop-based applications in the internet resources. Thousands developers, project managers or technology geeks may discuss or quarrel about technical differences, but it is still worth to ask and answear one question: which “philosophy” to choose? Web or desktop?

Let’s try to conclude the above from business owner’s perspective. It does not matter if someone distributes jewellery, runs fitness club or produces chairs. The main point is that he is an expert in his domain, not in software technology, and he expects application to be booster for his business, or at least to allow him for some savings. So the total cost of ownership and the ease of use are crucial. System serves customer, and not …vice versa.

Please just look at below simple matrix, and know advantages of different application types.

AttributeDesktop appWeb app
Flexibility and ease of accessLow; requires to use computer with software installed; some data is stored locally on PC; remote work is difficult; requires VPN tunnels etc.Very high; accessible form everywhere via internet
Chance to attract new user (commercial user, customer etc)Lower; people do not like to install next appsHigher; it is easier to create just a new account online
Using your application as a business service for your customersDifficult; cost of development is higher and requires advanced help deskEasy; cost of development is lower; helpdesk is cheaper
Safety and security riskLower; desktop app is not accessible from the outside, so if users follow procedures, security violations are rareHigher; risk for a security breach is obviously higher due to hacking techniques and people’s carelessness
Administration and maintenance costHigher; helpdesk or bugfixing process is longer and more complicated;  requires additional infrastructure onsite; requires skilled personnel onsiteLower; helpdesk and bugfixing is easier and performed in one central place: server; can be stored in cloud; does not require specialists onsite
Development and scale growth costHigher; upgrades are more difficult and require to consider many factors like OS versions, PC performance etc.Lower; like above, new functions are added on server; internet speed might need to grow, but it is not expensive today
Performance and speedEasier to achieve; depends on code quality and PC’ s performanceMore difficult to achieve because of various dependencies: code quality, device (browser) performance, internet speed, application server performance
Worldwide trend and popularity growth in businessLow; desktop systems are more difficult for cooperation between customers and/or partnersHigh; “world is coming online”; business partners expect to exchange information and manage operations ad-hoc, realtime
Link costLow; usually application can function with lower internet speed or even offline, if there is no need to import/export files and data; can function offlineHigher; internet access and sufficient speed is crucial; this app is useless if there is no internet connection

Now, and most probably in the future, web applications will be more and more popular. Digitalization of almost every field of human private and professional life, people’ desire to ‘be always connected’, growing popularity of remote work causes that web application seems a natural choice. There are reasons to choose desktop sometimes, like for example: extreme sensitivity of information which requires to disable the access via internet (secret service, military, R&D departments, some internal financial systems), narrow group of users editing big files (CAD/CAM users, huge graphic or video editors). But most of organizations which want to cooperate with many users, share and gather data, control their resources and cooperate with their customers or partners from any place in the world should seriously consider web application.

Invite professional software house and discuss your goals! Invite Evertop! 🙂 We can mutually choose the right way for you.

Mateusz Fligier
Mateusz Fligier
Business Development Manager Traveled along and across the entire eastern border of Poland.

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