Web Based Apps, Cloud Services, Hosting Services: What is the difference?

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What do these mean and what are the differences?  This is the subject least understood in firms trying to address how to approach technology moving forward. 

Web Based – Many legal centric applications to include case management and accounting systems are moving toward a web-based interface.  They are designed to be exclusively used and accessed by a web browser.  All your data, server hardware, and the product itself is maintained by the product vendor and is only accessible through the user interface.  Some examples of such a product are Clio, DropBox, and ShareFile.

Cloud Services – A great example of a cloud app is Microsofts One Drive.  This is sort of an evolved web app and is not exclusively dependent on a web browser.  You can access from desktops, mobile phone, or web browser.  There is not a dedicated secure connection.

Hosting – This scenario is when your system infrastructure is located outside of your physical location.  This is what we do at LiveWire Technologies Inc. and can include everything from storage, hardware, servers, monitoring, maintenance, and security compliance for all the applications your firm is using.  Another term you may hear is SaaS (software as a service).  This is addressing all server related software and providing access to your applications.  These services are accessed by our clients through a virtual private connection between our datacenter and the clients location.   The way that your staff works remains the same, just the physical location of the servers changes to our secured datacenters.

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