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What Can A Web Application Do for Your Business?

You know what the web is, and you probably know what an application is. But if you draw a blank when you think about what a ‘web application’ is, you’re certainly not alone. There’s a fair amount of confusion surrounding things like web-based data processing, online collaboration, and virtual project management. So, we’re going to address the question head-on: what exactly is a web application? We’ll also explore the benefits of having a customized web application built for your business.

Think about the applications you currently have installed on your home computer or tablet. To manage a spreadsheet, you might fire up Microsoft Excel. If you’re into computer games, then you may have a program like Steam installed on your computer. Both Excel and Steam may reach out to the internet for specific data services, such as downloading new templates or adding a game to your library. But the apps themselves remain physically installed on your hard drive, and they do most of their processing locally. 

Now think about some of your favourite websites. Perhaps you regularly visit popular sites like Facebook, Amazon or Google, and maybe you’ve come to rely on at least one or two websites as your primary resource for things like news, weather or travel information. These portals of data and services are all web-based, meaning they use the power and reach of the internet to function. Website data lives on servers that are probably nowhere near you physically, and data processing that might be a challenge for your home computer is handled by machines designed solely for that purpose. This means that you can seamlessly leverage the immense computing power of a website like Wolfram Alpha without having your own supercomputer.


If you’ve ever used unique login credentials to access data or services on the internet, then you’ve used a web application. Some examples of web applications that you might already be using include:


– PayPal/eBay

– Google Docs

– Your online banking portal

– Tax services like TurboTax 

But what else can be done using web applications? With the advent of encrypted connections and user verifications, complex applications can be managed 100% online, resulting in more streamlined user experiences and severely reduced downtime thanks to system redundancy and failover measures. Some tasks now being performed by web applications are:

– Customer Relationship Management (CRM) 

– Project/Program Management 

– Workflow Management

– Customer Portals and Loyalty Programs 

– E-commerce 

– Peer-to-peer services like Uber and Lyft 

Here’s an example of a small business that could benefit from a customized web application built to suit a specific need. Imagine that you run a design firm with four graphic artists who all live in geographically separate parts of the world. Perhaps they each have unique skills and portfolios, and let’s assume their involvement in projects for your customers varies. It would save you serious time and money if you had a secure, web-enabled way to collaborate with your employees, store critical customer project data and maintain daily operational insight into your business. You want to view progress on projects in real-time, and you want a central platform that is scalable, reliable and efficient. 

Enter the web application developer. With excellent communication about application requirements and performance expectations, a cost-effective web application solution can be designed, built and deployed in less time than you might think. Every need is unique, so a good developer is going to want to discuss your specific requirements to arrive at the most accurate development time and cost estimate. The point is to use web applications to enable businesses to function and interact with their stakeholders in a way that frees them from the technological constraints of the 2000s. Because legacy, stand-alone applications are expensive to operate and maintain, a web application can often pay for itself within a year of its deployment, or even sooner!


What other problems might building this web application solve? Well, the most obvious benefit would be the absence of hardware to manage. Web applications are typically hosted on redundant servers that do not require repair or maintenance by the customer. User access also becomes more natural, too. Also, there isn’t any bulky or memory-hungry software that needs to be installed and continuously updated. Further, because scalability is factored into every project, changing how the application functions is a straightforward process that can be executed with little to no downtime. So as your business grows and adapts, your web application does, too. 

Consider how much easier it is to use Quickbooks Online versus a locally-installed version of the software. With the web application, you eliminate the need to unbox software, install it, apply patches or hotfixes, manage its product keys and generally ‘care’ for it like you would any other local application. The same could be said for using Microsoft Office versus the web-enabled Office 365 application. Virtually any need for data processing or collaboration with others can be addressed with a web application built by a team of knowledgeable professionals in constant communication with you, the customer. The team at STEP Software is ready to explore your web application options! 


One final (often overlooked) aspect of web applications is how easily they can be branded and productized. A useful web application reflects a company’s brand consistently and with allegiance to the company’s business directives, whether that means selling e-books, fixing HVAC equipment or running a doggy daycare. Deploying a custom-tailored web application can be as much of a business functionality upgrade as it can be a sales and marketing upgrade.

Because of this, it is quite possible that eventually, all computing will be done ‘in the cloud.’ And STEP Software can help you bring the power and flexibility of web applications to your workforce – and loyal customers! Thinking you might need an app? Email to start a cost/benefit conversation.

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