Perhaps you have heard the terms cloud-based software, Internet-based software or SaaS. What do they mean?
First of all, SaaS stands for Software as a Service. Here at TLS we regard it as Software as a Solution because we solve problems with solutions. Either way, it means you use a software application that is installed on a remote server (“hosted”) that you access over the Internet (“in the cloud”). Instead of purchasing software in the traditional model where you have a high upfront cost and a periodic support/maintenance fee, you have a much lower upfront cost and pay for the software on a subscription basis – a pay-as-you-go model in other words.
Full disclosure: TLS provides this information without bias. Our application can run in either environment, hosted on the Internet or on your server locally.
Is cloud-based software better for you? Of course, the answer is case-by-case. In the traditional model, you buy a software application, install it on your own server, and manage it all including backups, hardware repair, and disaster recovery yourself. If you already have a server with a powerful enough CPU, adequate memory, a recent enough version of Microsoft SQL server (for your trucking software and perhaps other applications), and the technical staff to support it, the traditional model will provide you with the most control and flexibility over the application.
With the cloud-based option, on the other hand, the application vendor acquires the server, installs, configures and manages all the necessary software. From your point of view, one day a web link becomes available where you login to your new application from a web browser on your PC, laptop, or tablet and start using it right away. Being “in the cloud” you can access the application anywhere you have Internet access.
Today there are many software applications available in the cloud including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), payroll, HR, accounting and many other business applications. Of course, finding software that fits your needs should be at the top of your list.
Pros for Cloud-based trucking software
Low initial cost. The cost to get started with the software is much less.
No local server. No cost for an on-site server to run the application and personnel cost to do its maintenance, backups, putting on operating system patches and security updates.
Server upgrades. Servers are usually upgraded faster than you would your own server and its all done for you at the providers cost – not yours. Question – if you have a server on-site now, are you still using spinning disk technology? Or have you upgraded to solid state drives?
Automatic Software Updates. Cloud computing suppliers do the server maintenance and security updates freeing you up to concentrate on your business.
Backup and Recovery. Since all your data is stored in the cloud, you no longer have to worry about backing it up.
Improve accessibility. You have access anytime, anywhere, making your life so much easier! As long as employees have internet access, they can work from anywhere, and at any time!
Adoption is quick and simple. Users access cloud applications on standard web browsers anytime, anywhere. Using standard web style interfaces allows for more widespread adoption across the company without the need for detailed training.
Competitive software. Staying competitive can be difficult for small businesses when they don’t have access to the experts and finances afforded to larger businesses, but cloud computing now makes this a real possibility.
Customer access. Giving your customers access to your software system in the cloud can promote a stronger business partnership.
Cons against Cloud-based trucking software
Data vulnerability. Information is on the web and could be more vulnerable. You should always check to make sure the host is doing all they can to protect your data. Remember that any server attached to the internet can be attacked. That includes a hosted server or one of your own.
More expensive. Cloud based software is cheaper to get started but in the long run can be more expensive. Just make sure to include all of your technology costs in your calculations. Staff, tech support invoices, servers, cost of software, etc.