Server-based, Cloud-hosted and Cloud-based Software: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve ever researched the differences between server-based and cloud-based software and come up confused, we totally understand. Throw into the mix third-party cloud-hosting and that’s when things really get perplexing. Let’s start by answering the question in simple terms.  In a nutshell, server-based, cloud-hosted, and cloud-based refer to how you access your software. The real question, however, is what’s the best choice in today’s environment?

With an unlimited amount of information available online, it can be hard to determine which type of software is right for your practice. We’re going to break down the differences between server-based, cloud-hosted, and cloud-based, so you’ll have a solid understanding of which solution will meet your needs.

What is server-based software?

Server-based software, also referred to as on-premise software, like OfficeMate® and ExamWRITER® require a more hands-on approach on your end—meaning the platform can only be accessed through a direct connection from a physical server in your practice. While you have more customization of your server, you are responsible for housing it, keeping your equipment up to date, installing software updates, disaster planning like data backup and recovery, data security, and more. Many server-based software users require IT help to handle these tasks, often at an additional cost.

What is cloud hosting?

With a server-based software, you have the option to implement cloud hosting through a third-party vendor. The third-party vendor sets up a private cloud network between you and your server so you can have basic cloud benefits, such as using the internet to access and store your practice data. With this option, you still only have one server, manual updates, and a fixed amount of data storage. Cloud hosting guarantees you will need IT expertise to successfully implement and maintain a private cloud solution—making this the more expensive option of the three to manage and scale. 

What is cloud-based software?

Cloud-based software like Eyefinity® Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR are applications that can be accessed anywhere, anytime on any device connected to the internet (no server purchase required). With a cloud-based software, you don’t have to manage data security, software updates, regulatory compliance, data recovery, data back-up, and storage. These tasks are automatically implemented in your system by your software provider—keeping your software current and highly functional so you can focus on your patients. When you choose a cloud-based software, there’s also less upfront and overhead expenses—allowing you to easily scale your practice.

What solution should you choose?

From caring for patients during a global pandemic to adopting more rigid security and government regulations in today’s environment, agility is key to facing these obstacles. 

Eyefinity® has more than 20 years of experience in developing server-based and cloud-based practice management and EHR solutions exclusively for the eye care industry. Building off the success of OfficeMate® and ExamWRITER®, Eyefinity has leveraged the most secure and advanced technology to create Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR so that providers have an efficient, safe, secure, and stable solution.

In the end, the decision is yours and should be based off what will work best for your practice. You can determine this by considering the pros and cons of each option against factors like your budget, technical resources, data protection, and future growth plans.

Want to know more differences between Eyefinity’s server-based and cloud-based solutions? Click here to see a product comparison.

For more information on Eyefinity Practice Management and Eyefinity EHR, click here.

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