What is Application Hosting and How Can It Benefit Small Businesses?

What is Application Hosting and How Can It Benefit Small Businesses?

Many people still think of an application as a program they install on their computer, laptop, smartphone or whatever else has an interactive screen. However, with more businesses migrating to the cloud than ever before, hosted applications have become the new norm for offices of all sizes.

Rather than being installed on the hard drive of the computer in front of you, a hosted application is installed on a remote server and accessed entirely through a web browser, or (as is often the case with mobile devices) through a mobile app.

Despite cloud computing is one of today’s most pervasive business trends, it’s actually nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for as long as the internet itself, in the form of web-based email clients like Gmail and Hotmail. Other examples include online storage services such as OneDrive and Dropbox or web-based office suites like Office 365 Online and Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.

The above examples refer to the broader ecosystem of online applications. However, when techies refer to hosted applications, they’re normally talking about applications used by businesses, including legacy desktop applications that have been repurposed for the cloud. Hosted applications provide many benefits to businesses of all scopes and sizes, but here are some of the most important:

#1. Increased Flexibility

The modern workforce is spending more time on the move and working from home more than ever before, while companies are setting their sights on global opportunities in terms of both reaching out to talent and seeking out new markets.

Since they’re accessed through a browser, hosted applications foster a collaborative environment, allowing people to work on the same projects simultaneously, no matter where they’re physically located. In other words, when core business processes are carried out online, geographical boundaries quickly become irrelevant.

#2. Greater Reliability

Maintaining your own in-house computing infrastructure is an enormous undertaking and one that often requires a dedicated team. Not only do you need to worry about repairs and upgrades – you also need to keep everything connected and running smoothly.

Hosted applications run in sophisticated data centers complete with redundant servers, uninterruptible power supplies, and all the latest technology. Since the bulk of the computing workloads are handled off-site in cutting-edge cloud centers, you don’t need to worry about supporting your own infrastructure.

#3. Improved Security

Locally hosted software can potentially leave your business open to serious security threats, particularly if you don’t have the latest technology combined with round-the-clock monitoring and the staff needed to look after everything. For small businesses, these are practically impossible goals.

It’s a common misconception that migrating to the cloud means compromising on security, but in fact, the opposite is true, at least if you partner with a reliable vendor. That’s because they have the financial, technological, and human resources necessary to watch over your applications and data. As soon as they see something amiss, a fully staffed team can get to work fixing it.

#4. Unlimited Scalability

Organizations are generating more data every year, and many companies are also required by law to retain records for a certain period. Eventually, your data storage and computing requirements will grow, but if your infrastructure can’t keep up the pace, you’ll end up missing out on many lucrative new opportunities.

The cloud gives you access to some of the largest data centers and supercomputers in the world. That means it provides practically limitless scalability, thereby making it easy to scale back and forth as your business requires.

#5. Reduced Costs

If your business has ever done it before, then you already know that building and maintaining your own data center is enormously expensive. Factor in the upgrades and repairs needed to keep everything running optimally, and it’ll cost you a pretty penny.

With hosted applications, practically any internet-enabled device will do, since the computing and data storage workloads are all taken care of for a single predictable monthly subscription.

If you’re spending too much time patching software, replacing hardware, and backing up your data, then perhaps it’s time to move your applications to the cloud. If you’re ready to migrate to a more efficient system, then call Level 5 Management today.