15 April 2014

Web Based vs Server Based?

When it comes to changing your recruitment software one of the most important decisions a recruitment agency will make is whether they want their new system server based or web based.

Generally there are three options:

1. Server based application installed locally on premise

2. Server based application hosted in the cloud

3. Web based application hosted in the cloud

All three have their pros and cons but the most important thing is that the recruiter makes a decision that works best for their company and the way their business works.

Over the last few years we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for hosted and web based options, especially from smaller companies and start-ups. This is for a number of reasons, the first being cost:

To have a new system installed on premise means you will need to purchase a server and/or have a dedicated PC (including Operating System license costs for both), if you do not already have one. Traditionally recruitment software is licence-based meaning that the majority of the cost is up front with small ongoing costs usually covering product support. This however does work out as the cheapest option over three years.

Server based applications hosted in the cloud and web based applications tend to both be fixed monthly costs which works out great if you want minimal upfront costs and flat monthly overheads.

The second reason is accessibility and flexibility; Web based applications allow consultants to access their system via a web browser which means they can do this from anywhere – ideal if you are always out and about. Having a server based application hosted in the cloud also allows you to access your system anywhere via a thin client (such as Remote Desktop). The biggest benefit of having a server based application hosted is that you can also host the rest of your business in the same environment. This may include a full suite of Microsoft Office products (including Outlook for email and calendar, and Microsoft Exchange as your companies email server) and even back office products such as Sage. This is often referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), full remote desktop or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). This setup is becoming increasingly popular as it offers everything your business needs out of the box at one fixed monthly cost and can replace the majority of the hardware and cabling in your office. It can also be accessed from any device including PC, Mac, Tablet, iPad, Smartphone etc.

Users tend to find that this sort of set up is a lot quicker as it has all of the tools they need in one place rather than the system being hosted and other products such as Microsoft Office being native on their machine or in a separate cloud environment.

Another question to consider when reviewing systems is will you own and have easy access to your data? Companies generally find that web based products tend to hold certain ownership of their data and are known to even charge to extract the data into a basic format. If your system is server based; installed on premise or hosted in the cloud you will always own and have access to your data at all times.

Itec Systems have been supplying the Recruitment Industry with itris since 1998 with now over 8,500 users across 25 countries and we have big plans for the future. itris is currently a server based application which means it can be installed on premise or in the cloud through a number of hosting providers we partner with giving our clients maximum flexibility.

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