Web enablement has become a must for businesses that want to expand their capabilities, get closer to the customers, and stay ahead of the competition. As of February 2023, the global mobile market penetration reached 59.42% while the desktop global share shrank to 38.53% from 43.15% in 2021.
While this data reveals the growing popularity of web apps, it also paints an unpleasant picture for companies and institutions still using legacy software. These older programs no longer have a place in today’s digital world. They neither meet the needs of today’s users nor offer the advantages of SaaS.
So, what is a web-based application, and how is it different from a desktop program? Why should you convert a Windows application to a web application? What factors should you consider when deciding whether to migrate?
This blog provides answers to all these questions. We’ll also share some insights on how to ensure a smooth transition from a desktop to a cloud application without challenges.
Ready to make the switch? Let’s get started!
Web App vs Desktop App: How Are They Different?
A web application is a program that can be accessed via a web browser. For the software to work properly, you need to have an Internet connection or other form of network connection. However, it doesn’t require you to install it on your computer.
Google Docs, Netflix, and Trello are common examples of web-based applications.
A desktop application, on the other hand, is software that runs locally on your laptop, desktop, or other computer devices. You must install it on your computer device for it to work, but it doesn’t require an Internet connection to work.
Among the most popular desktop apps are MS Office programs, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and media players.
10 Reasons Why Turn a Desktop Application into a Web-Based
With the differences between desktop and web-based software clarified, the next question now is: Why turn a desktop application into a web-based application?
Here are the reasons for moving to a web application from a desktop framework:
1. Performance Issues of Legacy Desktop Apps
Desktop software often requires a larger amount of storage on the computer’s hard drive for the deployment of its associated files. This ultimately slows down the user’s system, hampering performance and efficiency.
But, unlike desktop programs, newer web apps don’t require large storage spaces. Users only need an Internet connection to enjoy light and fast software performance.
2. Accessibility Everywhere, Anytime
The fact that desktop app users are unable to access their files when away from the computer device they are installed has always been a frustration.
The good news is, with web apps, this problem is eliminated. With a web application, users can access their files from anywhere, and use any alternative device as long as they have an Internet connection and login details.
3. No Installation is Required
A major purpose of a conversion desktop application to a web application is to eliminate the overwhelming need for installation. Web apps do not require installation on every device you want to use them on. As long as the user has a web browser, they can access the application from anywhere without installing anything.
This means users can work on the go on any connected device and achieve the same productivity level as if they were seated at their desktop computer or laptop in the office.
4. Can Work across All Connected Devices
Web applications offer cross-platform compatibility as they don’t require standalone codes that are specific to a particular operating system or hardware.
Web-based programs, therefore, help you avoid many of the compatibility issues associated with desktop applications as well as increase the value of your existing hardware.
5. More intuitive interface
Most desktop applications were developed at a time when user interface expectations and design patterns were vastly different from what they are today.
Today, consumers are accustomed to web and cloud-based software that is not only fast and efficient but also has sleeker and more sophisticated interfaces. This streamlined improves work efficiency for teams, end users, stakeholders, and is a top reason why desktop apps turn into web apps.
All in all, who wants to operate in an outdated and inconvenient Windows XP-like system when there’re Trello, Spotify, Facebook, Amazon, and others on the market?
6. Updates Automatically
Do you find it bothersome to have to update your desktop program regularly?
Thanks to automated updates, the frequency of on-premise app updates has reduced, However, some desktop software may still require a manual upgrade from time to time. A web app, on the other hand, lets the user concentrate on the task at hand and saves them time, since the software updates automatically.
7. Requires Little Processing Power
Unlike on-premise programs, web-based apps are typically resource-light. This is because most of the heavy processing takes place in the cloud, on the server, or in the developer’s enterprise database system.
Therefore, customers don’t need to “upgrade to the latest version” every year or two. This ensures that teams and organizations get a better return on their IT investments, and individual users are not limited in any way in their productivity.
8. Provide Better Cost-efficiency
Most on-premise apps are on-off purchases, in contrast to most online software that offers flexible payment options with short trial periods. For example, if you need the app for a single task or a short period, you can simply sign up for a week’s worth of access.
A desktop app, on the other hand, typically offers yearly or monthly subscription plans. Consequently, users may end up wasting money on an offline app they require access to for just a week. This can lead to frustration over time. In other words, web-based applications are actually cheaper.
9. Easy Integration with Third-party Software
One of the major advantages of migrating desktop applications to web applications is the fast and easy integration with third-party programs.
A team could integrate Zoom or Google Meet to hold a virtual video conference when collaborating on a Google Doc or an online PDF editor, for example. However, using a desktop PowerPoint or Excel Sheet program would not provide them with this same convenience and flexibility.
10. Easy Scalability
As a final point, web apps are designed to scale and evolve with the needs of individual users, teams, and organizations. Additionally, multiple users can access and use the application simultaneously without experiencing any issues. The ability of online software to support collaborative work by project teams is one of the most compelling reasons for converting desktop to a web application.
When authorized users can access and review information and resources consistently and equally, they gain a better understanding of the project. They are also able to make better and more productive inputs.
How to Determine if You Really Need a Migration to the Web Application
Making the move from an offline to a web application is a major business decision. It requires careful planning, reviews, retooling, and possibly upskilling your staff. But how do you determine the web is the right home for your app?
Here are some questions to ask yourself when preparing to migrate:
- What is the purpose of migrating desktop applications to a web-based program?
- How will the transition benefit my business and the app in general?
- Does this align with my project goals and plans? Do I want to grow the project?
- How will my business reap the benefits of converting a desktop application to a web application?
- How will the transition affect primary users who interact with the app?
- Do customers need the app on smartphones or multiple devices?
- In the event that an Internet connection fails, what happens? Is it harming productivity?
- How can I prevent risks of porting to the web?
- How will it affect data security?
- Is the competition using a more modern, accessible, and user-friendly app?
- What is the cost of migration? What are the maintenance costs of my existing app? Try to compare these numbers.
- How long will the migration approximately take?
- What’s the next steps after the app has been converted to the web?
- What’s the projection for the next 5 years? How will I picture my app?
- What steps do me and my team need to take to prepare for pre-migration, during the desktop to web development, and the launch?
Answering these questions clearly, thoughtfully, and honestly will help you understand the reasons to convert a desktop application into a web application and give you confidence moving forward with your transition plans.
Why Trust ModLogix for Your Desktop to Web App Migration?
Transitioning from a desktop app to a web app requires careful planning. It also demands careful consideration of technical and business requirements, and top-level expertise in web app development. This ensures the software will be high-quality, cost-efficient, and scalable.
Businesses looking for desktop app migration services trust companies like ModLogix with over two decades of experience and several successful cases of converting a desktop application into a web-based one. ModLogix also boasts a team of more than 100 industry experts and a five-year client retention average.
When migrating old desktop apps to the web, we take a thorough quality assurance approach – analyzing the current state and evaluating future enhancements. We also implement design improvement with modernization features and test the updated software for speed and performance.