Web Application vs. Cloud Application: Which is better for your Business?
When the context is the debate between cloud and web apps, it has always been a never ending one. To be precise, for any organization out there, an app is a bridge between a brand and its customers. If you are on the lookout to differentiate your brand from others, an app is undoubtedly the best option.
Whether it is an established organization or a startup, apps always decrease the gap between the customers and companies. It is also important to select an appropriate platform and make sure that your app gets the maximum number of features. In general, apps have resulted in the increase of sales and growth in the engagement of the audience.
Quite interestingly, web apps and cloud apps are quite close in their race to popularity. For the general audience, the two are very similar in usage terms. However, they differ a lot when the context is about their technicalities. Also, no one can deny the popularity of web application development nowadays.
With a large number of easily available tools, developing a web app seems simpler. From the technical point-of-view, a cloud based app is an exciting way to conduct online business. But developing a cloud-based application is a complicated process. So with these things in mind, let’s take a glance at the debate surrounding web app vs. cloud app.
An Overview of Web Apps
Customary to its name, a web app relies on a browser and web technology to execute tasks online. And as a web-based application has been developed to be used with the browser, it should have access to a continuous internet connection to function.
Some of the common examples of web apps in our daily lives are banking apps, e-ticketing apps, etc. Also, note that it is important to consider the benefits of web apps to understand them better. Here are some of the benefits of operating a web application.
- These apps are accessible from anywhere and can be operated via any web browser.
- The basic requirement of operating a web app is internet connection along with a browser.
- Web apps are adept in running on various platforms, OS and devices which makes them cross-platform compatible.
- There is no need to download web apps on your device. So even if you have a low storage space, there would be no issues while you are using a web app.
- Web apps don’t require much maintenance efforts from the developers which makes them popular.
- Web apps don’t store client information which makes them quite secure even when they are hacked.
- Along with web design and development, developers can easily update web apps without the requirement of updating the whole OS of the device in which it is installed.
An Overview of the Cloud Apps
Well, many developers call a cloud app the evolved version of a web app. In case you don’t know, cloud apps can be accessed through the web browser. Moreover, you can also install cloud apps separately on your device.
The data of the cloud apps is stored remotely in a cloud server. Also, cloud apps are ideal when the context is about catering to different requirements of the users. Google, Microsoft, etc. are some of the renowned cloud apps.
Some other examples of cloud apps include Zoho, NetSuite, etc. Here are some of the advantages of cloud apps which you should be aware of.
- With a cloud app, users can easily personalize the on-demand services to meet personal needs.
- Cloud apps provide you with great capabilities, both offline and online.
- As the resources are pooled, cloud apps can serve several customers with varied requirements.
- As a business, it is easier to scale with the help of a cloud app.
- One can easily monitor the use of resources while using a cloud app.
- You can fix the pricing on the actual usage of the features. In simple words, users have to pay only for those features which they are using.
How Web Apps vary from Cloud Apps?
Let’s take a glance at the below factors to understand the differences between a cloud and a web app.
- One of the key differences between web apps and cloud apps is the structure. No doubt, both of them need the internet to function. However, cloud apps don’t always depend on web browsers to function. You can access cloud apps irrespective of the location and the web interface.
- When compared to web apps, cloud apps are more customizable. While it is true that web app development is gaining steady popularity, no one can beat the practicality of opting for a cloud app.
- Web apps usually don’t support multi-tenancy. However, cloud apps comprise pooled resources and thus support multi-tenancy.
- To be precise, cloud apps are always backed by an extensive back-end process. With a comprehensive back-end process, cloud apps provide you with a greater degree of security and integration. On the other hand, web apps cannot do so as they are usually stored in remote servers.
- When compared to web apps, cloud apps are more secure. Web apps store data on the enterprise’s servers which are prone to vulnerabilities. On the other hand, various types of security enhancements can be added to cloud apps to upgrade their security.
A Detailed Comparison of Web Apps and Cloud Apps
Let’s make a detailed comparison between cloud and web apps on the basis of various factors.
When the context is about legacy, web apps enjoy a superior position. Web apps refer to all types of applications that can be supported by various devices. You can deploy them in various types of devices and OS.
To be precise, cloud apps can work in the offline mode. What’s more, you can operate them partially or fully in the absence of the internet. In short, cloud apps would be your preferred option where internet connectivity is a big issue. Moreover, if you want to design an app based on a collaborative environment, cloud apps are your best option.
On the contrary, web apps can work only in the presence of internet connectivity. This is because they use the web interface to execute functions. This is the reason that they are a viable option for the ecommerce industry, bulletin boards and portals that share important information.
Type of Technology used
As the name suggests, web app development is related to the use of web-based technologies. For instance, efficient web apps are usually designed with the latest backend technologies like Ruby, Python, .NET, etc.
Moreover, the databases involved in the development of the web apps are remote. SQL Server, MySQL are some of the popular remote databases that are usually utilized to design and develop web apps.
For instance, cloud apps usually require React.js and Node Angular to facilitate better performance. It is also imperative to note here that the cloud apps use optional choices for a database.
For instance, they use browser-based choices along with Firebase. Moreover, cloud apps come equipped with the HTML5 caching feature. This feature lets the cloud apps function even without internet connectivity.
Expenses related to App Development
To be precise, designing and developing a reliable app which would work offline is expensive when compared to the development of an online-only app. So as you can see, the cost of developing a web app is significantly lower when compared to a cloud app. As cloud apps make use of the latest technological platforms, they are expensive.
Also, the development of cloud apps is usually done for the purposes of enterprises. The developers related to cloud apps are always in high demand because of their skills and proficiency. In other words, if you want to develop a cloud app, it would cost you more when compared to a web app.
Services in which Web and Cloud Apps are deployed
If you see it from a non-technical point-of-view, you would be able to understand the services in which they are deployed. The most popular web apps are those which require constant internet connectivity.
In absence of network connectivity, these apps would simply stop working. Some examples of web apps are Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. On the contrary, cloud apps are always expected to work offline or even during limited network connectivity. Some of the cloud-based apps are Gmail, Slack, etc.
Which Type of App is the best for your Organizational Use?
Well, selecting between a web and a cloud app depends a great deal on the type of business you have and the associated requirements. As you expand your business operations and the servers become overloaded, you always have the option to keep adding more hardware to comply with the growing needs of the users.
You can also move to the cloud and pay the subscription fees so that you can facilitate top-notch service. But note that with cloud-based apps, the risks related to downtime are quite minimal. In case your organization’s servers become overloaded, or if traffic becomes too heavy, a basic web app wouldn’t function.
So in these cases you need a cloud app which can function flawlessly even during crisis periods. But still a large number of organizations prefer web apps over cloud apps. Other organizations usually possess a combination of web and cloud-based apps to conduct business operations. On the other hand, the small-scale and medium-scale businesses usually prefer web-based apps.
This is because the development costs related to web-based apps are minimal. But note that these organizations deploy additional security along with reliable backup methods to safeguard important organizational data.
At the same time, virtualization technology is encompassing the entire business. The usual processes are being re-engineered to include the cloud-based services for delivery of software platforms and handling of data.
No doubt, we are entering the digital revolution with full speed. That’s why the apps need to be developed to support various online activities. What’s more interesting is the fact that large-scale and medium-scale enterprises are noticing the positive effects of cloud-based apps.
And with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging, cloud-based apps are given huge importance because of their reliability. Cloud computing is already a trending technology and developing apps based on it would provide you with rich dividends.
Organizations are opting for remote workforce in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this situation, they need a reliable and efficient app which would keep their workforce connected. And when the context is about reliability, there is no denying the popularity of cloud-based apps. Note that app development is taking huge strides nowadays. Also, web browsers are continuing to support the activities of people.
Hence, a highly optimized web app with good features can serve the needs of your business. Regardless of the visible differences, both cloud and web-based apps share a single DNA. If you are on the lookout to develop your own organizational app, thoroughly assess your requirements.
You should consult specialized app development companies in case you feel confused. Look for an app development company that has great experience in the development of apps. But at the same time, cloud computing is also advancing quite rapidly.
Organizations are adopting cloud technology to conduct business operations. So you have to first research your target audience and then develop an app based on their preferences. In usual terms, a cloud-based app is a practical choice to popularize your business.
Note that this new digital age demand apps that should be cost-effective and responsive at the same time. Multi-tenancy and personalized apps would be the new normal in the coming years.