Web Hosted Office Suites - Web hosted Office Suites: Advantages/Disadvantages
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There are some distinct advantages and disadvantages associated with the use of web hosted office suites by businesses or individuals. For some small businesses, web hosted office suites allow them to conduct business with anyone in the world through web conferencing. These small businesses are able to grow like never before with the help of these web hosted services. The main worry for other people is the issue of privacy and security, which is a valid concern with personal business being conducted over the Internet.
To highlight this concern for privacy, security on the Internet has never been a bigger issue with identity theft being at an all-time high. Many people believe that operating a computer remotely will leave critical information at risk for identity theft or other cyber crimes. I think this is the number one worry for businesses who have chosen not to jump on board the web hosted office suite bandwagon. From my research, though, it seems that those who have used Google Apps or WebEx have been happy with the service, as well as the safety of their critical information while using these services.
All of the web hosted office suite companies that I have looked at have some sort of security in place to protect all of your personal information. These companies realize that security is the number one concern of their potential customers, so they take it very seriously. To be honest, if security of a company's vital information was really at risk, these web hosted office suites would not be as successful as they are. Obviously, they have made privacy a top priority, so that their customers will feel comfortable with their services. An example of this would be WebEx, who gives users who use their remote access feature the ability to specify which applications will be usable remotely, and which ones will not be remotely accessible.
I think that those people who get past the privacy issues of these web hosted applications really see the benefits of using these types of applications rather than traditional software. With the number of small businesses in the world today always looking for a cost-effective alternative, web hosted office suites offer them exactly what they need. Why would they want to pay hundreds of dollars for software to install on their computers, when they can get the same capabilities from a web hosted office suite without the high cost?
Even looking beyond the cost issues, there are other benefits. One very nice benefit of an application like WebEx is the fact that there are no software upgrades which need to be purchased and installed in the future. This makes it very easy to have the most up-to-date application without ever having to actually upload it to your computer. The bottom line is that the web hosted office suites are cheaper and much easier to keep up-to-date than traditional software; the only drawback is the potential privacy issues.
For web hosting resellers, these kind of applications could be a potential incentive to their business and e-commerce customers. To be able to offer a full suite of business applications to your customers would be a huge advantage. I wouldn't be surprised to see some web hosting companies start to offer online office suites to their business customers. If you couple this with nice business website templates, you can offer your customer everything they need to get their business up and running.
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