When buying time and expense tracking software, should you go with a cloud or local installation? The answer, as with many questions, is…it depends. In this episode, Curt explains the pros and cons of both so you can make the best choice for your needs.

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Cloud or local – should you buy your time and expense tracking software from a cloud vendor or from a locally installed vendor? Or you can always go build it yourself, which is probably a bad idea.

A question to ask is how capable is our IT staff and our IT capability, our IT infrastructure in our company. If you’re using our cloud service (or any cloud service vendor, really) you can be sure that they’re doing backups and you can ask them for their Type 2 SSAE 16 audit document, once you’re a customer, that will demonstrate in their process that they use for going through back-ups and that they have these processes audited by reputable auditing vendors and that sort of thing.

Some people for various reasons have decided that they want to install things locally – and that’s cool. Why would you want to install things locally? Because you don’t trust the internet, don’t trust cloud vendors, don’t trust your own people, maybe, in the way that they’re using the internet. There are a variety of reasons that people have for doing that. You’ve already got the servers and you got the people and it’s no big deal…you’d rather have the data locally.

Who do you trust more: yourself or your vendor? When it comes to doing back-ups, my experience is you probably want to trust the vendor. The advantage of being in the cloud is that you’re paying this monthly fee and you can forget about it. They’re not always perfect at it, hackers will find a way. Now, are they more likely to break into your existing stuff that you’ve installed in your own servers, or they more likely to break into some cloud vendor that you using for CRM, or time sheets or whatever? I think that’s a difficult question to answer, but I can tell you that security (at least at our company) is a super high priority…something we take very seriously.

Do you go cloud or local? I think that that depends on how big a risk do you think it is that the internet’s going to blow up one day and that it would be actually useful to have things installed locally. Do you trust your IT people more than the vendors’ IT people at maintaining that one app? At Journyx, we’re really great at keeping our own app up and running for all of our cloud customers, which is in the neighborhood of two-thirds of our customers.

The great thing is the ability to do both. If you have that in a vendor, you can always change your mind later.