Friday, October 31, 2008

The good, the bad and the ugly in online office applications

The Good

Virtually Free
Online office applications from Google and Zoho are virtually free for basic tasks in office productivity. Applications installed in local computers come with a licensing fee and would place a dent in terms of office budgeting especially for small companies.

Real Time Collaboration

Developing programs and writing/editing documents is now faster as collaboration in real time. Users can work on documents at the same time and see the updates in real time. Everyone who has permission to make some changes on the application can do it anytime, anywhere.

No Lost Files

You can virtually burn down your building and expect all your files to be protected. Since all your files are now online, you don’t need to worry about a broken (or burned) laptop.

The Bad

Lay-Out Problems

The online applications may not be compatible with the applications in the local computer. The downloaded file may not be same when read in the local computer.

Lesser Features

Developers of online applications have to sacrifice a little bit in efficiency to improve speed of their online application. Certain tools could be lacking and may not provide the needed output of the user.

The Ugly

Relying on Internet Connectivity

All work could be done only when there’s a strong internet connection. Anything below DSL speed would not work for online office applications. It would be worst if there’s no internet connection since no work could be done.

Security Problems

Since these are free applications, users can’t demand security and functionality. When one computer in your workgroup has been attacked by spyware or virus, everyone else could be infected in no time.