Have you seen a fake iPhone? Imitation iPhones look real until you use it and find its function is nowhere near a real iPhone.
Why bring this up? Over the years, many legacy dental practice management vendors have started hosting their existing antiquated software using legacy products like Citrix, and tricking customers that they are receiving a "cloud solution". Like the fake iPhone, these antiquated cloud-hosted practice management systems fall short in user experience and accessibility compared to true cloud based systems.
Generally, such solutions are referred as cloud-hosted solutions and NOT "cloud-based" or "cloud solution". Yet another variant is those that often market their use is private practice cloud, which is same as a cloud-hosted solution. Many marketers are actually misleading users with buzz words and outdated software.
How does a cloud-hosted system deliver a fake cloud solution? The cloud-hosted systems are nothing more than installing your existing practice management software from a co-located data center or Amazon Cloud. While your system may technically be in the cloud, it inherits all the limitation of your legacy system. In fact, it is simply the same system—just hosted in a data center. See this additional post for more detail the difference between cloud-hosted system and cloud-based system.
Marketers of cloud-hosted systems will lure customers into purchasing their legacy system at a low cost for an initial period, however over time they will increase the price. Managing and operating legacy products over the cloud is expensive and often is referred to as “ putting lipstick on a pig.” This is due to the non-scalable, expensive operations needed to maintain these legacy systems.
Taking legacy systems and hosting them out of a data center does not provided many of the benefits of a true cloud based system. A good rule of thumb is if the system looks antiquated or old it most likely is not truly cloud based as it was built 20 years ago. Imagine if a sales person sold you antiquated crowns from the 1980s and put a light porcelain veneer that would quickly fail. You would say that is crazy, it would never happen. Well don’t let it happen to your dental software.