Installed vs Cloud-Based Field Service SoftwareBy My Service Depot on Thursday, October 28, 2021
Benefits and Drawbacks of Installed and Cloud-Based Field Service Software
Field service companies have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, not just for performing the required tasks at the clients’ location, but also for following up with maintenance and repairs. The field service management industry has come a long way in the past decade, and the latest technologies have been instrumental in allowing companies to conduct their operations smoothly.
For this purpose, field service companies turn to specialized software designed to automate their day-to-day processes, such as billing, invoicing, order generation, scheduling, routing, and several others. When it comes to field service software, companies can opt for having it installed on the company premises or on the cloud.
However, this choice can be quite difficult, which is why we are here to help. We will compare the benefits and drawbacks of installed and cloud-based field service software. This will help you determine the right course of action for your own field service company.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Installed Field Service Software
Installed field service software involves a physical installation of the application into your company’s physical servers or computers, and it can be used by your employees to optimize the daily operations and make them faster. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of having the software installed.
One of the major benefits of having an installed field service software is that you only have to pay once to obtain the licensed software, thus providing you with a lower cost of ownership. Plus, the software won’t have any recurring fees or renewal costs, which benefits your company financially.
Moreover, you have complete control over the software when you install it into your servers because you own the hardware, software, and data. This also means that you can continue to upgrade your systems without requiring any approval or worrying about compatibility.
Last but not least, the uptime of an installed field service software is completely dependent on your company, and you can conduct most of the operations without the need for continuous internet connectivity. You have 24/7 access to the software and even if your system fails, your system administrators would be able to get it back up and running soon enough.
Let’s move on to the drawbacks of having on-premises field service software. First of all, software that has to be physically installed can be much more expensive as compared to subscribing to it for a year or two. Therefore, you will have to make a larger upfront purchase to get the software. Moreover, if you require maintenance and upgradation services from the software provider, you will be charged extra for it.
Plus, there will be a very long installation and implementation time, since the software will have to be separately installed in every server and system one by one. This may also take a few days or weeks, which would result in valuable time being wasted for your company and your staff. Also, you will have to wait for getting software updates and upgradation may take as much time as the initial installation.
The thing with physically installed software is that it is restricted to the office only. This means that you can’t access it from anywhere. If your offices have migrated to remote work and working from home, this option may not be optimal.
Last but not least, you will have to bear the entire responsibility for maintaining and possibly fixing any bugs in the field service software, and this can be costly as well. You might also have to hire an IT expert who understands the software and its maintenance well, which means that you might have to spend more than you would expect.
This leads us to another drawback: you are also responsible for backing up your data regularly, and you may have to spend extra money to set up a backup server off-site. If you don’t do this and the server fails, you may lose all of your valuable data, especially information about your clients and external vendors.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Cloud-based Field Service Software
As you know already, this is the age of the cloud, and everything has moved to virtual servers that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Similarly, cloud-based field service software comes with several benefits, as well as drawbacks. Let’s have a look at both sides of the coin.
First and foremost, the biggest advantage that you can experience from having a cloud-based field service software is that it is accessible from anywhere, and the software provider doesn’t even have to be physically present to install it. All you need to do is to register for an account with your contact details and pay the subscription amount. The software provider will give you a link to the software, which you can access from any device, and at any time.
Another major benefit of cloud-based field service software is that it is frequently updated with new versions and builds, and these can be remotely installed to the cloud without even having to take your software offline. Plus, these updates can be installed within a few minutes, and you won’t even know about them. Before you show up for work the next day, the field service software will have a wonderful and helpful new feature.
This also leads us to the next benefit of a cloud-based field service software, which is flexibility. Cloud-based field service software can be easily customized according to your requirements, and you can scale it up or down without any delays or extra costs. Moreover, since the software is hosted on the cloud, the software provider is also responsible for maintenance and bug fixing. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about hiring an IT expert for this.
You also won’t have to worry about the security of your data, since cloud-based software providers have updated and advanced security protocols that safeguard the data from theft, accidental deletions, etc. Plus, the data is regularly backed up automatically, and you don’t have to conduct the backup manually every once in a while.
Another benefit of using a cloud-based field service software on a wide range of compatible devices, and there is no restriction of operating systems, device manufacturers, or even hardware requirements. Due to COVID-19 and flexible working conditions, this is a major advantage for companies that want to give their employees the chance to work from home, especially due to the sudden lockdown impositions that we face nowadays.
We may have saved the biggest benefit for last. Cloud-based field service software has a lower upfront cost as compared to installed field service software, so you won’t have any trouble in setting up your company operations or shifting from paperwork to cloud-based operations in no time at all. Plus, you will also be able to save money that would be otherwise spent on physical servers, as well as the energy costs spent in keeping them online around the clock.
Before you decide to opt for cloud-based field service software, let’s have a look at their drawbacks as well. Firstly, if you are concerned about data privacy and control, you will have to deal with the fact that the software provider controls your entire application and business data, and it is located on their cloud servers. So, if you aren’t comfortable in letting a third-party handle your data, you wouldn’t want to get a cloud-based field service software.
Moreover, you will have to ensure that your company has round-the-clock and seamless internet connectivity since your operations will be entirely dependent on the internet working. Even if you allow your employees to work remotely, you will have to ensure that they have high-speed internet. This may cause you to spend more, especially if you need a backup connection at the office.
Another drawback of choosing cloud-based field service software is that you might not be able to migrate data to your own physical or cloud-based servers or an external storage drive. Therefore, you may further feel that you have no access or control over your company data. Therefore, you might have to get in touch with your software provider and request them to give you a copy of the data.
With cloud-based field service software, you will have to pay regular subscription fees, which are usually charged monthly, bi-annually, or even annually. This means that the software may cost you even more in the long run, as compared to the one-time cost you have to pay to get a field service software physically installed. Therefore, your total cost of ownership will be much higher than if you opt for an installed field service software.
Installed vs Cloud-Based Field Service Software – Which One to Choose?
Now that you have a complete picture of the pros and cons of both installed and cloud-based field service software, you can make a more informed decision about which one you should go for. If you have a traditional company structure or a small business, you may not be able to quickly adapt to a cloud-based field service software. Therefore, you can ask the software provider to install the software physically.
On the other hand, if you are looking to restructure or innovate your company, you can make do with cloud-based software. Not only will it help your employees work from anywhere and with much more ease, but even if you scale up your company in the near future, you won’t have to worry about installing the software on the extra computers.
Therefore, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to installed and cloud-based field service software. It all depends on your requirements from the software, as well as your budget, company structure, and also the size of your workforce.