Choosing the right permit tracking software for your city can be overwhelming. When weighing the options, it’s important to choose the permitting software that will enable your municipality to give citizens the permit tracking software services they expect and adapt to changes in those expectations. Meanwhile, you will also want to ensure the software you choose provides a friendly and efficient user experience for your staff. In today’s digital world, that means reevaluating your current systems to make sure they’re up to date. A simple way to modernize your city government’s permitting system is to implement cloud computing based permit tracking software developed by a cloud-native Software as a Service (SaaS) provider.
What are the advantages of switching your city government to a cloud computing permitting solution?
Providing permit tracking software for your city government via cloud computing is one of the most modern and efficient ways for city employees to supply permitting services to citizens. So long as there is internet access, the cloud provides many advantages over alternative solutions including paper and pen, PDF forms, and
legacy on-premise permit tracking software.
This is due to the accessible nature of the cloud that enables employees to provide and store information in an area that can be used to register permits both in the city office and in citizens’ own homes. But the advantages of cloud-based permit tracking software aren’t limited to its accessibility. The cloud-based permitting systems also has the following advantages over other permitting solutions:
- Increase collaboration. Cloud-based solutions make it easier for both multiple citizens to submit permits at
once and multiple employees to process that data and otherwise access the permitting system at the same time.
- Conserve space and energy resources. On-premise permit tracking software often require
large servers that take up space and need energy to keep them cool. Pen and paper solutions likewise often take up a lot of space with massive files. It can also take up a lot of mental energy to sort through these files to find specific entries.
- Save money. Without the need to pay for potentially expensive servers to store data or printing costs, city governments using cloud computing solutions often save in the long term.
What is true, cloud-native Software as a Service permit tracking software?
There are several types of automated and cloud-hosted methods of implementing a permit tracking software. Cloud-native SaaS are built in a way that maximizes their operation in the software provider’s technical environment. All components integrate and communicate with one another. True, cloud-native SaaS permit tracking software have built in scalability and customization features that other permit tracking software might not. These features are often not present in permit tracking software that is cloud-hosted alone.
For this reason, having your municipality’s permit tracking software accessed via the cloud may not be enough. Cloud-native SaaS solutions are built within the cloud itself and generally provided by a company that designed the
software specifically for your purpose, whereas other permit tracking software options may take the form of cloud-hosted services. Cloud-hosted software is stored in the cloud but was not built for it and, therefore, is not fully
optimized to take full advantage of it.
To optimize your permit tracking software’s functionality, it’s important to seek out cloud-native solutions as opposed to a cloud-hosted one because hosting a solution in the cloud does not provide access to all of the benefits
of software that was written for use in the cloud. Cloud-hosted services take longer to implement, require manual upgrades to each server, and may need to scale to additional servers as the software’s tasks and stored information
expands. Cloud-native solutions, by contrast, can be implemented relatively faster, upgrade quicker and simultaneously, and scale without issue when more services are needed.
What are the benefits of Software as a Service permit tracking software?
The benefits of cloud-native SaaS permit tracking software go beyond its improved efficiency when compared to cloud-hosted permit tracking software. In addition to advantages like having fewer access points to help with security, cloud-native solutions have a number of inherent advantageous features:
- Quick and affordable deployment. Cloud-native solutions take away the need for deploying and maintaining in-house systems because they are hosted by the cloud vendor. This leads them to generally deploy faster at less expense to the municipality involved in the deployment process.
- More customization. Vendor can evolve cloud-native SaaS solutions quickly based on your input. The software development techniques and underlying tools permit faster evolution. As such they can customize their product based on your feedback and implement this customization faster.
- Implement best practices. Cloud-native solutions are often designed to account for industry best practices. This can simplify compliance with these practices.
- User-friendly design. As cloud-native solutions are built for a cloud environment, this enables well-designed solutions to optimize their design’s usability to take advantage of the cloud’s architecture.
- Up-to-date capabilities. Cloud-native solutions enable continuous upgrades. This allows native-cloud solutions to keep pace with the changes that technological progression makes necessary.
- Increased availability and performance. Cloud-native solutions can leverage the cross-region failover and scaling capabilities of a cloud vendor (such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS) to automatically scale based on load and to fail-over as needed if an emergency occurs or an outage occurs in one region.
Important questions for your cloud-hosted vendor:
- Have they leveraged the security of the platform? Is the data encrypted in-motion and at rest?
- Have they practiced secure coding and design practices?
- If you are relying on them for payment processing, are they PCI certified, or relying on PCI certified approaches to integrated with payment services?
- Can you get your data out to back it up locally? Can you replicate the data locally?
- Can you efficiently connect to use your own reporting and analytics tools to report on the data?
- How flexible is the tool—can the vendor or you implement a tailored solution and support it in the face of automated upgrades, or is it work to keep custom solutions working?
- Does the vendor offer training so that you can customize or implement processes?
- Are they able to connect back to integrate with your legacy system (e.g. Amanda) securely via a VPN to keep your legacy system the “single source of truth” if desired?