Despite SaaS (Software as a Service) tools being a popular choice among businesses to manage costs, customers, passwords, consumers, and employees, they come with several drawbacks. Although SaaS tools are generally more user-friendly and accessible, the lack of back-end customization can be a big obstacle. Additionally, these tools are significantly more restrictive when it comes to security, privacy, and flexibility, which can be limiting for growing businesses. If you’re interested in adopting more software tools for your business or are looking for open-source alternatives, then we highly recommend that you consider self-hosting software.
Using self-hosted software tools means that the software is hosted on your business’s servers rather than a provider’s servers. This puts you in control of almost all aspects of the tools, so you don’t have to rely on any third parties. This can ensure that sensitive information is not compromised or shared without your permission and allows you to dedicate extra resources to security protocols. Self-hosted software tools can even save you money in the long term, so long as you have the appropriate technicians in place who can maintain the software and patch any bugs or security vulnerabilities. Overall, if you’re looking for control over your business’s software tools, guaranteed privacy, and a higher degree of security, then self-hosted software tools are the best solution for your business. Keep reading to find out the best self-hosted software tools for businesses in 2022!
Best self-hosted software tools for businesses quick guide
- Password manager – Bitwarden
- Project management – OpenProject
- Accounting – Akaunting
- Time tracking – Kimai
- Web analytics – PostHog
What are self-hosted software tools?
Self-hosted software tools are open-source apps that are installed, hosted, and run internally by an individual or business. Typically, when you use software tools, SaaS software is hosted on the premises of your chosen provider. This can be beneficial in some ways as it places your provider in charge of monitoring software, fixing any issues, recovering lost data, and other responsibilities. However, this also results in limited control and much less flexibility when it comes to security, privacy, storage, and other features. Self-hosted tools, on the other hand, allow you to control almost every aspect of the software, so you can dictate privacy protocols, regulate security, and customise as you please.
Since self-hosted software is open-source, they are usually surrounded by thriving communities who are contributing to improving the software, developing features, and patching any bugs or security vulnerabilities. A larger community also means that you likely won’t have any trouble finding support forums and guides to help with getting the full potential out of the software and finding fixes to any issues you may encounter. Additionally, as anyone can inspect the tool’s source code at any time, there is full transparency for you to see the software’s full capabilities and limitations. Finally, self-hosted software, due to its open-source nature, typically does not require any no licensing fees or upfront costs.
Self-hosted tools do come with more responsibility, however, as it is up to your business to assign a team of technicians to maintain the software and patch any issues to avoid security vulnerabilities. It’s also your task to back-up any data, scale resources, and configure systems for optimal performance. This can be time-consuming but is definitely possible and can be a solid investment for your growing business.
Our top recommended best self-hosted software tools for businesses in 2022
Take a look at the different types of self-hosted software tools to discover what can improve your business’s productivity, efficiency, and revenue –
Bitwarden is the best self-hosted password manager that allows you to store and secure all of your business’s passwords with 256-bit end-to-end encryption. This zero-knowledge solution prevents anyone, even the Bitwarden team, from accessing your password data, so you can increase your business’s security and safely store all passwords on your own premises.
With the Enterprise Organisation plan, users are provided with advanced functionalities and security rules including admin password reset, user groups, custom roles, and SSO integration. You’ll also have the option to configure the minimum length and complexity of passwords as well as enable two-step login for all users. This password manager also provides vault health reports that evaluate the security of your vault and identifies any reused, weak, or compromised passwords.
Bitwarden allows for an unlimited number of users under a single account plan and the tool’s cross-platform accessibility means that it is available on most major operating systems including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux.
Bitwarden uses an open-source approach and has a bug bounty program that encourages community developers to inspect its code and notify the provider of any bugs or security issues. Additionally, Bitwarden has completed a source code audit and cryptographic analysis by a web security service provider, Cure53. Overall, Bitwarden is incredibly transparent and clearly dedicates itself to protecting its user’s privacy, so you can be reassured that your business’s password data is secured.
Try out the Bitwarden password manager for your business now with their Enterprise Organisation plan!
OpenProject is a feature-rich and open-source project management tool that provides users with plenty of customization, a user-friendly interface, robust encryption, and the option to self-host, so you can ensure a streamlined workflow and protected data within your business.
Users can choose between four plans and can adjust the number of users, hosting mode (self-hosted or cloud), and subscription period. You also have the option to scale your plan at any time and add more users if needed. Features provided by OpenProject include a project overview page, project reports, automatic/manual scheduling mode, calendar, task boards, custom workflows, project templates, meeting management, and personal dashboards. There are also a wide variety of customization features as users can make use of custom themes, project hierarchy, work break-down structures, form configuration, custom action buttons, and status boards to further improve employee efficiency.
OpenProject combines end-to-end AES-256 encryption with two-factor authentication to ensure that all your business’s sensitive data is protected at all times. Additionally, this project management tool is committed to maintaining its user’s security and data privacy and aims to develop peace-of-mind by being incredibly transparent and complying with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). All in all, if you’re looking for a fantastic all-in-one project management tool to help increase your employee’s productivity, create a structured workflow, and clearly outline your business’s goals, then look no further than OpenProject.
Try out OpenProject for your business now with their Premium project management plan!
Founded in 2017, Akaunting is an established open-source software tool that provides everything you need to manage your small business’s accounting. With this tool, you can keep track of invoices, expenses, and payments all in one place and without any unnecessary hassle.
This accounting tool is available in over 50 languages which can be instantly switched between and the software has already been downloaded by an incredible 270,000 users who want to stay on top of their cash flow and efficiently manage their finances. Features provided by Akaunting include unlimited bank and cash accounts, detailed financial reports, multi-currency, unlimited attachments, tax rate setup, forecasting, and vendor management. Users can set up client portals to accept payments and share invoices as well as create customer summaries which include customer profiles, addresses, previous transactions, and open/paid/overdue totals.
Akaunting includes a selection of features that help streamline your business’s payment processing and have a detailed overview of all expenses including financial reports, revenue allocation, invoice customization, bulk actions, transaction categories, and dashboards/widgets creation. Other tools provided by Akaunting include invoice templates, balance sheet templates, a business loan calculator, and a business name generator. All these features are clearly laid out in Akaunting’s easy-to-use interface which also allows for the finances of multiple companies and an unlimited number of customers/vendors to be managed in a single admin portal.
Try out Akaunting now for your business with their Premium accounting plan!
Kimai is a reliable and simple open source time tracking tool that lays out a summary of activities and tasks in a straightforward and easy-to-read interface. If you want to use time tracking software to increase productivity, boost employee motivation, and set measurable goals for your business, then Kimai is likely your best option.
This time tracking tool has a terrific selection of features including designated groups, a calculator, invoicing temples, expense tracking, statistical overviews, AM/PM format duration-only time tracking, rate valuations, timesheet filters, weekend raters, and self-registrations. Admins can use Kimai to configure and assign roles to users who can then set their own rate settings, colour themes, and avatars. Additionally, this app can support an unlimited number of users with a single account.
Users can also export all timesheet data for usage in other programs or sharing with other departments in their business. Data can be exported in the following formats – XLSX (Excel), HTML, CSV, and PDF. Kimai is also supported by various plugins including a kiosk plugin, enhanced invoicing, custom-fields, and custom-content.
Kimai allows the option to self-host and since the app is fully open-source it has a dedicated community who regularly contribute to fixing security issues and providing additional plug-ins to extend the core functionality of the software. This app can be localised in any language and has already been fully translated in over 30 languages.
Try out the Kimai time tracking tool for your business now for free!
PostHog is a powerful open-source web analytics tool that is designed around businesses and provides additional privacy and security for users with its self-hosting option. This full-featured tool is also backed by a supportive community that regularly contribute bug fixes, guides, and features through GitHub. This well-rounded web analytics app is easy-to-use and flexible, making it the perfect choice for businesses and startups.
Useful features provided by PostHog include session recording, feature flags, heatmaps, annotations, correlation analysis, and noise filtering. There’s also an experimentation suite that allows users to test changes in protection and validate a hypothesis, define a statistical significance threshold, and calculate a time estimate for results. Users can analyse trends through detailed charts that can be swiftly annotated and shared with team members.
Additionally, PostHog makes it easy to visualise traffic and identify how users navigate their websites. This information can be filtered with PostHog’s advanced customisation features so you can view any sequence of pageviews, set start/end points, and indiefit drop-off rates. There is also a correlation analysis feature that will help you to understand the behaviours that successful and unsuccessful users have in common which will provide more insight on how to improve your site’s performance. Overall, PostHog can radically improve your business’s website by providing advanced analytics that are laid in a comprehensive and easily customisable dashboard.
Try out the PostHog web analytics software tool now for your business!