Are you really using cloud-based practice management software?

Traditional on-premise software had a number of limitations, especially when it comes to flexibility and the ability to work from home. These limitations have led to more practises opting to move to the cloud for a more flexible solution, along with the numerous other benefits that cloud-based practice management software can offer. 

If you’re considering moving to the cloud, it’s important to make sure the platform you’re moving to is a true cloud software platform and not just a hosted desktop system. The two may appear the same at first glance, but there are a number of key differences between them. 

Here’s how to tell whether you’re really using cloud-based practice management software or a hosted desktop solution. 

You don’t need your own server.

With a remote desktop, even if you can access your server remotely, you still have a number of potential issues to contend with. These include maintenance, upgrades and security as well as the additional risks that come with having a server at your physical business location. For example, if there was a fire or flood at your practice, you’d not only have the physical damage to contend with, you’d also be facing the potential loss of all your business data. On the other hand, cloud software is hosted remotely and managed by your provider so you don’t have to worry about a physical server. 

There’s no need for manual updates.

With a hosted desktop solution you still need to download and install updates manually. This is not the case with true cloud software. When you’re in the cloud, all your updates are automated, which means you don’t need to do anything – the latest features and functionality will be made available to you straight away. 

You don’t need to worry about bandwidth.

A desktop hosted solution usually requires extra bandwidth for your employees to log in remotely. This often means additional costs or a reduction in network speed. With cloud software, there’s no need for additional bandwidth as your server is hosted and managed remotely. 

All your backups are taken care of.

With a hosted desktop, you still need to make sure you’re backing your data up regularly, but with the cloud, backups are all taken care of automatically. This means you can feel confident that if something did go wrong, you’d still have access to your data and could get up and running again sooner rather than later. 

It’s easy to scale up and down.

With a remote desktop, adding new users can take a bit of time and effort as you have to invest in new infrastructure. With the cloud, there’s no need to invest in a great deal of new infrastructure to add new users, all you have to do is create a new account. 

Remote desktop might seem to offer equivalent benefits to the cloud in terms of flexibility but there are a lot of other factors to take into account. With a true cloud solution you’ll get a lot of extra benefits over and above the ability to log into your clinical software from anywhere.