Updated: Mar 14
Looking through the data over the past few years, I discovered a curious fact: back in 2017, migrating from desktop to cloud apps was one of the most hype topics. Now the excitement has subsided. But does this mean that all companies worldwide have switched to web software and have lived happily ever after? - If you are working in any conservative domain, you probably know the right answer.
Despite lost opportunities and exhausted employees, companies continue to cling to on-premise applications like a lifeline. Some worry about data security, others about investing in software migration projects.
Here we will discover why the choice in favor of cloud apps is ultimately inevitable, how companies are benefiting from web services right now and what to do to become one of these lucky ones.
Desktop Apps vs. Web Solutions: Why the Last Ones Always Win
On-premise applications: Why not?
A time-consuming ritual named tax reporting catches up with me once a quarter. To make it correctly, I need to use a special desktop app. Each time this process is delayed for several hours. First, the app version is always outdated, so I have to download the current one on my laptop. Moreover, filing reports requires some more keys, installation of additional on-premise applications, and a lot of patience. Consequently, one paper costs me precious time, nerves, and device memory.
Now imagine how your accountants feel when they form corporate tax reporting using desktop software. Or other employees who have to work on outdated on-premise products. By far, this used to be the most convenient way to work. But now technology has gone far ahead. You need to follow them to stay afloat.
Sure, desktop solutions are always more reliable when it comes to data protection. Admit it, it is unlikely that now someone will steal your PC to get confidential information. That's why state authorities, financial companies, and gas station chains prefer traditional software.
However, several significant disadvantages make both the private and public sectors migrate. For example:
the need to install an application on a PC/laptop and update it manually
high risk of hardware breakdown and trace loss of information
difficulties in creating one accessible corporate database
high maintenance cost
burnout of employees solving routine issues related to on-premise software
low speed of response to external changes
unsatisfactory quality of service delivery to end-users
In other words, by continuing to use desktop apps, you cannot adapt to new conditions (for example, the Work From Home trend), implement new business models and grow. Your company will be vulnerable to the above risks.
Is it worth it?
Why web solutions are better
On the other hand, it is arduous to imagine business and government without cloud apps. Following the Techaisle Report, in 2020, 77% of small enterprises and 99% of middle-market players used one or several SaaS. In 2021, this trend is becoming more widespread. Because of the pandemic, the situation has changed, and now entities need to organize remote activity more than ever.
Over the past year, the desktop market share was 43.15%, while the mobile market is growing, accounting for 54.37%. It means we start to choose more convenient instruments to access apps and data. On-premise software cannot be installed on mobile devices. So, it leads to the assumption: the world is confidently moving towards web apps usage.
cloud apps are not tied to one device, which ensures data accessibility from any hardware
they are usually user-friendly and allow to perform any activity faster
such software doesn’t need reinstalling
cloud services do not take up device memory and in-house servers since all the data are stored on remote servers
web-apps often integrate when it comes to user authorization issues, so we can log in on one service using personal data from another one
cloud applications are more popular among customers, so companies can retain clients and attract new ones by implementing them
they don’t need maintenance from the user side
web services usage increases staff productivity
cloud services like PaaS and aPaaS help companies to create web-based simple software solutions faster, solving their operational issues
they are scalable and enable enterprises to implement new digital approaches to business processes
cloud app is the way for a company to expand revenue streams; enterprises launch different cloud services for further sale on the software market
It seems that with all these great benefits, web applications have one significant drawback called data protection. Anyway, it's rather a myth now. Vendors are working hard to eliminate loopholes in the codebase and provide increased control over access to information.
Meanwhile, migration from on-premise to cloud services allows both public and private entities to be flexible and scalable. It creates a base for further digital transformation. In fierce competition conditions, the era of cross-industry partnerships, and high-quality administrative services, desktop apps won't allow you to move forward.
How to Perform Desktop-to-Web Migration: Guideline
Inspired by the results of their competitors, many companies are thinking about migrating to cloud apps. It seems that this process is time-consuming and expensive. But, it all depends on the situation and the size of the company.
So, where to start the migration and how to continue it?
Idea & Resources
Management should have a vision of the migration outcome and set some business goals that it will help to achieve. Each idea implementation requires certain resources. At this stage, the company must decide on its financial capacity and choose whom it will involve for project work. It could be an in-house IT department or an independent vendor.
Before you start creating requirements, you should dig deeper into your business processes. At this stage, it is crucial to determine which internal and external systems the new product will integrate with.
You will always need a long-term solution with broad functionality. Otherwise, there is no point in migrating. It means that the service must be cross-browser and work equally well on any device.
The company should also think about design as it has a significant impact on the user experience. Finally, before migrating, ask your users what difficulties they faced interacting with legacy software. It will help shape the requirements for the boosted product and increase the chances of a successful migration.
Legacy Software Evaluation
Each system is individual. Therefore, there is no single recipe for how to migrate. To find the answer, you should learn your desktop: its project documentation, business logic, services, and data layers, its architecture, and security approach. All the received information will allow you to design a perfectly working modern cloud application.
At this stage, the architect creates the technical base for the improved product. It is needed to focus on component reusing since it can significantly save corporate resources. Any difficulties in this process are associated with the current product architecture and its potential openness to the web.
You will need to try hard to create a user-friendly design. Just migrating an existing one without any improvements is not advisable. In any case, legacy on-premise software users have some issues related to the interface. Your engineers and designers should fix them.
At this stage, a team of experienced engineers should start implementing the idea illustrated by the architect and designers. It is where MVP will help out companies. This way, you can check your hypothesis and eliminate any drawbacks from the very beginning.
When all the main stages are over, it remains to deploy the product and test it for strength in real conditions.
Planning to migrate to web software? We are ready to support you. Share your problem with us, and our experts will advise you on how to migrate properly.