Now that the world is making a more drastic shift to the digital space, more and more businesses are appreciating the use of various online solutions. It has led to an increase in software-as-a-solution (SaaS) among teams and enterprises, using cloud-based apps that are accessible even through mobile devices.
Despite this trend, people might be questioning the relevance of desktop apps. It refers to software programs that are intended to be used independently on a computer unit. If you’re already wondering if it’s time to make the shift, here are four reasons why businesses need desktop apps.
1. Continue work even offline
In a world that is increasingly leaning towards internet connectivity, imagine the nightmare that comes with being disconnected from it. For businesses relying on SaaS tools, falling offline easily translates to paralysis in business processes, which leaves companies helpless.
By keeping desktop apps in your arsenal, you can continue working with or without the internet. Since these apps are designed to function locally, often without online interconnectivity required, you can expect them to continue functioning as intended. This means that your teams can continue work even without a sufficient data connection. A good example would be how Google Docs still has not completely supplanted Microsoft Word and its similar offline word processors. If your job relies on the use of these programs, you’ve probably experienced how your work on online word processors is interrupted when the internet connection starts failing.
The offline capabilities afforded by desktop apps even work for companies adopting flexible work-from-home setups. Since not everyone enjoys the same internet speed and connection stability, using offline programs allows them to continue working.
2. Improve employee productivity
While discipline is largely a personal thing, a few organizational touches can help push employees in the right direction. One advantage of desktop apps over their web browser-based counterparts is that they offer an opportunity for workers to focus, thus helping improve productivity.
Usually, desktops apps are used in a full-screen or a large, windowed mode. This takes up most of the screen size for usual desktop computers and laptops. While it appears as a disadvantage in terms of multitasking and versatility with resizable windows, it helps employees at work focus better on their work. If they have to check other apps, they’ll need to switch windows from their taskbar.
On the other hand, web-based apps are usually run on web browsers, where they occupy one of many tabs–they are even grouped together with other websites and apps, including social media platforms. By seeing other apps notify them from the browser interface–usually indicated by a colored dot or a flashing message in place of the site name–the user’s attention is grabbed and worse, their momentum at work is lost.
3. Increased cybersecurity
Granted, most SaaS tools available today use the latest in industry-grade cybersecurity to keep all your files and communications secure from external threats. However, from the larger picture, there’s still a potential weak spot in the data security chain: the people themselves. Since online tools are accessible with individual usernames and passwords, each employee subjected to security threats could compromise the entire organization.
This is why the use of desktop apps remain a staple of cybersecurity policies for a couple of years now. The most important factor for administrators and business owners is to identify which processes should be transferred online and which of them should remain offline and localized. By keeping certain processes isolated from the internet, they are virtually unhackable and immutable unless attackers access the very device where the files are located. So in terms of privacy and security, keeping some processes offline is a good business practice.
4. Cost savings
Another benefit of strategically identifying which business processes should be shifted to web-based apps and desktop apps is savings on cost. One one-side, you have SaaS solutions that will regularly cost your company through monthly or quarterly subscription plans. Like internet connection bills or utilities, although they can also be canceled at any time.
Meanwhile, licenses for most desktop apps are usually one-time purchases and can be used indefinitely. Also, while it appears counterintuitive with the obviously higher upfront costs, remember that you’ll never have to pay a single cent ever again. So with the right discernment of which processes should remain offline or go online, you can make the most out of every investment–whether it’s for ongoing web-based subscriptions or for buying licensed software. Additionally, desktop apps work particularly well for serial entrepreneurs because they can use these localized programs for varying startups, usually after selling and transferring all relevant assets to the buyers of their businesses.
Despite the rapid spread of SaaS and other online solutions among businesses, it is safe to say that desktop apps won’t be going away anytime soon. The key for faster business growth, in terms of using programs and apps, is knowing when to opt for web-based or desktop solutions. By making strategic decisions, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds and make them work better for you and your employees.