Technical Support Blog

Time Clock Software: Local vs Cloud

One of the key considerations when you are choosing a time clock software is how your data will be stored. Data refers to all personal and corporate time and attendance information stored within your time clock software. There are two primary categories of software available today: purchased software is the traditional software model where users purchase a license, download, install and run the application on their own computer(s). SaaS (Software as a Service) is a method of delivering software over the internet, often through a web browser, for a monthly or annual fee.
Virtual TimeClock Data Storage

Data Control
Maintaining full control of your data is important. This means being able to access, modify or move your data at any time, without needing the internet or a third party. Virtual TimeClock stores your entire database directly on your computer, giving you full access and complete control over your data. A SaaS time clock service stores your data on someone else's computer in the "cloud." The result is that you sacrifice control and accessability to your data. In addition to this sacrifice of control, I recently read the fine print of a SaaS time clock service agreement that said:

"We may terminate this license or your access to the service at any time for any reason or no reason."

If you're paying for a SaaS time clock that goes out of business or chooses to stop supporting their time clock "service," you will be forced to find a new time clock solution and start over.

Data Security
Installing time clock software on your own computers ensures your data is secure and private. Unfortunately, cloud-based sites and services are compromised regularly. A SaaS time clock service, with data stored in the cloud, is at a much greater risk of being compromised than Virtual TimeClock. If it's not necessary to have your time clock hosted in the cloud, why risk it?

SaaS time clock companies often make it clear they can "...share aggregated or de-identified information with third parties." The power of a locally hosted, independent time clock system like Virtual TimeClock, is that you have control over the security and privacy of your company and employee information. Nobody can see or use your data except you.

Data Integration
Full control over your data provides incredible flexibility when it comes to data integration. Not only does Virtual TimeClock integrate with a variety of payroll services, but you can also create data exports for custom reporting in a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. SaaS time clock services, like TSheets, often charge an extra fee for this type of custom reporting. In addition to custom data exports, Virtual TimeClock runs on a non-proprietary database that experienced users have successfully integrated with a variety of third-party management software solutions. When you put your timeclock in the cloud, you lose integration flexiblity because you sacrfiice access to your data. 

While there are certainly benefits to the SaaS model for time clock software, for many organizations there is no compelling reason to store company data in the cloud when it can be securely stored on computers they already own. To read more about the cost differences between Virtual TimeClock and SaaS time clocks, check out this article on renting vs purchasing >