In the world of facilities management and in-building logistics, technology is one ever-evolving area. Software development is at an all-time high, and new products are being launched constantly, leaving companies and universities to sift through the clutter to find the perfect solution. With so many options, you may feel confused about the best course of action for your facility. Thankfully, we’re here to solve (at least part of) this dilemma. Here, our team of enterprise facility management software experts at SCLogic discuss the differences between desktop and browser clients, as well as the benefits of each, helping you find the optimal solution for your campus or business.

What’s the Difference Between Desktop & Browser Clients?

When it comes to choosing between desktop and browser clients, there are many things to consider. Your team’s specific needs will alter which client is most efficient for your daily tasks, whether fully desktop, fully browser, or a mix of both for larger organizations. To put it simply, desktop clients or applications are types of software installed directly onto your computer and can be launched independently of other applications. Browser clients are software applications used through internet web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Browser clients have become more common in recent years; however, desktop clients still have many benefits that set them apart from browser clients. Examples of desktop clients would include Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop, which are downloaded, installed, and stored on your computer. Examples of common browser clients include Google Suite, such as Google Docs or Sheets, stored on an external server. Now that you understand the basics of desktop and browser clients, let’s dive into which ones may be right for you regarding facilities management software. 

Browser Client Advantages: Efficiency, Accessibility & Management

In comparison, browser clients reign supreme when it comes to efficiency. To preface our discussion on the benefits of each, note that Intra can be used as both a desktop and browser client, depending on your team’s unique needs. For smaller organizations that work with large file sizes, such as document services managers using printing or design software, your team may not have room to add additional desktop applications without sacrificing speed. Browser clients use less processing power and take up minimal space on your hard drive, allowing you to maximize storage on your office computers. Browser clients are perfect for on-the-go, for those who work across large campuses such as central receiving or asset managers. With the ability to be used on any device, you can utilize Intra to its highest capabilities at the touch of a button. If you are on the move each day, browser clients provide ease of use and accessibility to all.

Browser clients are great for management purposes as well. For mailroom or office managers, you can monitor your department’s progress in real-time. This is essential for campuses or companies receiving a large number of packages per day, ensuring that organization and customer service remain at the forefront of your team’s mission every day. Finally, cross-platform availability allows for additional flexibility for your team. If you have a limited budget, browser clients can be used on Windows or Mac since it runs from a web browser instead of desktop clients that favor one operating system, forcing your team to adopt and finance new operating systems in line with your software purchase. Our Intra desktop client is currently built to run strictly on Windows operating systems. 

Browser Client Disadvantages: Processing & Security Threats

While browser clients have few disadvantages, some things should be considered before deciding between this or a desktop client. The first and potentially most important, especially for government or pharmaceutical organizations, are security threats. Web servers are targeted more than individual computers, leading to an increased risk of security breaches that could leak personal data. While this is unlikely, security should not be overlooked in your choice of a desktop or browser client. The other downfall that browser clients face is their reliance on internet access. During moments in which you are on a time crunch, your need for dependable software is enormous. Finally, due to the minimal storage space used to run browser clients, robust software programs may not run as efficiently on a browser client, leading to malfunction or time lost during processing. Overall, browser clients are a fantastic option for those looking to prioritize an efficient operation, with detailed real-time oversight for management and user-friendly options to ensure your team’s success. 

Desktop Client Advantages: Improved Performance & Advanced Security

Now, it’s time to move on to the advantages that desktop clients offer. Desktop clients, as we stated before, are not always designed for mobile use. However, they provide a sense of power, security, and performance that browser clients may lack. If you have space on your desktop to install platforms such as Intra, the processing power is much higher. PC processing power can allow for massive amounts of package processing, audits, and more through Intra. However, with the continued improvements in browser processing power, browser clients are slowly catching up to desktop client capabilities, although browser clients still require internet accessibility, while desktop clients do not. 

At SCLogic, we discuss every aspect of browser and desktop client capabilities, which is why if you lose internet, you will still be able to continue inbound package scanning until the connection returns, and where information will be automatically updated. Another advantage that desktop clients possess is the privacy and security measures they offer. Not only are desktop clients less likely to have security breaches since they are on a personal computer, but sensitive data is less likely to be tracked or shared. For example, many browser clients store information on a cloud, and if this is hacked or tracked, this information can make its way across all depths of the internet. 

Desktop Client Disadvantages: Installation, Deployment, and Space Reduction

Like browser clients, there are very few disadvantages to using a desktop client; however, all of these should be considered before making your final decision. The most obvious downfall to a desktop client – the lack of portability. If you have members of your team that strictly work at the same desktop each day, as well as those that move about your facility, having a mixture of desktop and browser clients may be the way to go. Additionally, hard drive space taken up by installing a desktop client reduces space for additional software programs that may be specific to your industry or team’s needs. Finally, deployment and updates can be time-consuming and costly. Having a desktop client installed on every computer can be a lengthy process for extensive facilities, and updates generally must be done manually. This means that your team must remain in communication with your desktop client provider to ensure that updates are correctly made. Overall, desktop clients offer a powerful solution for your team to handle large daily tasks efficiently, giving you more time to strategize, improve, and gain revenue for your department. 

Talk With SCLogic About Your Browser & Desktop Client Needs

When it comes to installing new facilities management software, we know that the decision can often feel overwhelming. Endless options mixed with a hefty financial investment strengthen the desire to have everything in place and perfect from the start. At SCLogic, we understand these woes, and we are right here with you. From the moment you connect with one of our team members, we are here to work with you and find the absolute best solution for your university or business. We understand that every customer is unique, which is why Intra was built with user experience in mind and prioritization of customization. To learn more about our Intra browser and desktop client, email [email protected] or schedule a demo with us today. 

We can’t wait to hear from you!