Should I Use Software-As-A-Service or Standalone Applications?

It seems like there’s an app for everything. Turns out, this is true even in the context of running a business in many cases! We know it can be mind-numbing to try and figure out on your own what technology and which apps are right for you. Below we evaluate why you may want to consider Software-As-A-Service as opposed to standalone applications for your business.

As technology advances, more and more companies are moving towards devices to help manage their business tasks, instead of paper.

(Remember the days of CD-ROM? We do.)

Before you dive into the app and software foray, there are some things you need to know about applications in construction.

Here are some things to consider:

  • How should you evaluate software, which you plan to use?
  • How do you identify which types of apps or software is needed?
  • How will you manage security and permissions of these pieces of productivity software?
  • What are the mobile requirements for this SaaS?
  • How much time will you be spending managing them?
  • Will you choose a SaaS-based app, or a standalone application?


What’s the difference?

SaaS is an acronym. It stands for software-as-a-service. SaaS is a way of delivering software applications over internet connection, meaning that it’s accessible wherever online connectivity is. LinkedIn, DropBox, and SalesForce are some common examples of SaaS. SaaS allows users to access applications on a web browser or plugin without having to install or download anything cumbersome to their local machines and servers. Usually, SaaS equates to zero downloads. Other than a thin client for updates, there’s very little if any time required for any installs or updates.

SaaS is typically billed on a recurring monthly basis. Sometimes these applications are billed per seat, or license, but most times you are invoiced monthly, automatically.

The alternative to SaaS is called “standalone” (thin client or on premise).

Standalone apps are downloaded from some sort of app store or source and are used independently. These types of apps are great when there is a function to be done without the need for collaboration, i.e. apps for taking photos, calculating concrete estimates, notes. These apps are usually a one-time payment to “own” and can range from free to $100.

While there are no standards when deciding which type of mobile solution to deploy, there is criteria you can use when choosing. Here are the basics:

  • If your business needs require software that gives you collaboration from multiple parties, over an internet connection, then opt for Saas.
  • If your business needs require software that can be completed independently, then standalone apps will likely get the job done for a flat one-time cost.


Either way, using apps in the end will be more efficient than using individual pieces with tons of manual effort necessary to run your business.

We encourage you to evaluate the security measures involved in these apps, however, before taking any on and exposing them to your business data and assets to any capacity.


We can help.

Need help deciding what applications are best for how you want to run your business? We make IT work for you, making you more efficient and productive than ever. Contact us here.