The Advantages of an Offline Kanban

An offline desktop application may have more advantages than it seems.

Cloud apps are indeed useful, but many have reasons for preferring offline desktop application, for the organization of their work or life, especially when it comes to Kanban.

Let’s see why.

Independence from the Internet connection

Among the most evident reasons, offline availability is certainly a major plus for everybody, and a strict requirement for someone.

We usually take an Internet connection for granted, but it’s still an unreliable resource in many contexts. Not all live in always-connected areas. Or they travel often and need to rely on the local data on their laptop. Or they have a slow shared connection. Or just the Internet connection can vanish the moment you most need it (and it’s much more likely than a PC failure). Or, for some more or less obscure technical reason, you can’t reach your application provider.

For some users, relying on the Internet connection for their task management may not be acceptable. Most of the cloud solutions don’t offer a locally synced client. When they advertise an offline mode, it’s usually just an offline browser cache, not a cloud-independent app.

Privacy, security, and safety

Many individuals, and companies, still prefer to keep their confidential data locale. The cloud offers many secure solutions, but owning your data in your PC or server can indeed be reassuring in many situations.

Local data, especially when in a single file or database, offer total control when you need it. For example, you may want to restore backups easily or to be protected from the unavailability (or, worse, leak) of your data.


You may have a fast and reliable Internet connection, but a Web application can hardly have the quickness of a desktop application. Data must travel. Commands must travel. Even interfaces must travel. There’s always some latency, with a Web application, and that latency is usually much greater than that of a desktop application. A couple of seconds may not seem much. But many couple-of-seconds add up to something, or just break the flow of your work.

Sometimes we choose a cloud solution because we imagine that we’ll use it on the road more than it will happen in reality, while our primary use remains desktop. If the best context for planning and reviewing is at your desk or laptop – and it’s often true when it comes to Kanban – just keep your shopping list on the smartphone, separate from your productivity app, without sacrificing your primary usage.


Desktop applications also have a further advantage. They are easier to implement than Web applications, especially when the features and the interface details become rich, and this translates into lower development costs. A complex and rich Web app is certainly possible, but it requires large teams.

Also, desktop applications often come with one-time purchase options. You pay once and no expiry date is there. You may have the cost of an upgrade in the future, but it’s up to you. With a nontrivial Web app, there’s usually a subscription cost. As long as you want to use your data you have to pay. And if the Web app is not super-basic, subscription fees are not cheap.

So, from a user perspective, a desktop application can often give more features at a lower price, and possibly with no subscription fees.

Windows is alive and kicking

According to Net Market Share, Windows detains a >35% share of the operating systems market on any device, smartphones included, which ramps up to 85% if you narrow the market to desktop/laptop.

You can bet that Windows is here to stay and to remain the main desktop system, especially since it’s used by most of the companies all around the world.

 Time to give XPlan a try?