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Web- vs network-based CMMS

Supplier: Mainpac
15 January, 2013

Computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) software was created to help businesses keep maintenance operations organised.

The information it keeps is intended to help maintenance workers do their jobs more effectively and help management personnel make better decisions regarding their machines.

There are two different types of CMMS — web-based and network-based — and companies must decide which to use. To help you choose, the following is a brief introduction of each type, and their advantages and disadvantages.

Web-based CMMS software

Web-based CMMS software is hosted by independent servers, or "server farms", that could be located anywhere in the world, so to access the information your staff simply need to use their standard web browser. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of web-based CMMS software:

1. Advantages

You can access your CMMS from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet-connected computer with a modern web browser.

Start-up costs are lower because you are subscribing to a monthly service as opposed to purchasing an entire software package.

All support, updates and backups are performed by the vendor, so you don’t have to worry about additional costs of IT support, maintenance and repair for the powerful servers that are required to run the software.

2. Disadvantages

The Internet response time will be significantly lower than if you were running the software from a local network.

The user interface of the software isn’t as intuitive or fast to use as the interface people are accustomed to on their computers. This makes the daily use of the software somewhat tedious and undermines the convenience of the software.

If your vendor is unable to continue supporting your software for whatever reason, you are at risk of losing your program and your data.

Network-based CMMS software

Network-based CMMS software is most often hosted on your company’s servers and is located wherever your IT site is. The system will be supported and maintained by your own corporate IT department, and access to the software is available from anywhere within the company that is directly connected to the local area network. The following are the pros and cons of having network-based CMMS software:

1. Advantages

Local and on-site computer networks run at significantly higher speeds than those over the Internet, even if you have high-speed Internet. This ensures that your staff members are more productive when using the software.

You will have far more flexibility when it comes to programming and the user interface, which means the software will be far more user-friendly. Drop-down lists and multiple windows, for example, are features you wouldn’t have with web-based software.

Since your data is located in-house, you will have far more control over it and far better security for it than is possible on the Internet.

Backups, maintenance and repairs are conducted by your own IT department, which means you don’t need to deal with a vendor when you have an issue.

2. Disadvantages

You will only be able to access your software from inside of the company network, which is unhelpful when you’re off site.

The initial cost is far higher than with web-based CMMS software.

Your internal IT department needs to have the resources and knowledge to be able to run the software effectively, otherwise it’s not useful to you.