Web Based vs Desktop Based CMMS

So, you’ve made your decision.  You’ve done the research, gotten some advice, and have decided that it’s time to make life a bit easier—for your employees, your customers and you—by purchasing a quality Computerized Maintenance Management System or CMMS.  You’ve also come to the conclusion that the software has to meet all your needs, while being flexible and intuitive enough to address those needs that will arise in the not-so-distant future.  But one of the questions that may remain is; should you purchase web-based CMMS software, or a desktop-based system?  Let’s take a look at both, beginning with the desktop approach.

Desktop Based CMMS

The desktop system, or network system, is an internal system that is usually installed and maintained by your company’s IT department.  Utilizing this method, your company has complete control over all the hardware and software.  For the company with the expertise and manpower required to use this method, the desktop-based software has some advantages.

However, should there be any problem with the server, or should the need arise to upgrade to faster, more efficient hardware—these costs are incurred by you.

Web Based CMMS

The web based approach, on the other hand, is basically outsourced to a third party’s servers.  What that means is; you access the software over the Internet using a web browser.  Your company is not maintaining software, updates, patches, etc.  Your company is doing its job and leaving the job of running to software to your CMMS provider.  For many companies, this savings in manpower makes the web-based approach a better option.

In addition, you have access to a desktop based CMMS software when you’re logged into your computer in the office, but with a web based CMMS, you can access the software anywhere you have an Internet connection—anywhere in the world!  Your software goes with you to the site, through your laptop or mobile device, giving you the advantage of making assessments and solutions to problems in real time.

Also, utilizing a web based CMMS, you are free from any hardware issues that may occur.  If the servers running the web based software go down, it’s the third party’s responsibility—not yours—to fix or replace the server.  And, unlike the desktop CMMS, you’re not spending time upgrading software, wondering if the rest of your team has done the same.  All upgrades are done “behind the scenes”, so you can concentrate on using the software, not fixing it.

It’s fairly easy to see how the advantages of web-based CMMS software easily outweigh the advantages of the desktop approach.  But always remember; any software is only as good as the people using it.  So whether your purchase is web based or desktop based software, make sure it’s the right tool for you and your company.  In the end, it may be the best investment you’ll make.