I'm in my second year of increasing the capabilities of an inherited FileMaker database used to track students who apply for and receive funding from our office. We currently do not have any web integration, but after attending DevCon 2017, I have high hopes for reducing the amount of manual download from one system and upload in to FileMaker, and then emailing applicants at various times while they are funded (i.e., developing a more automated workflow process). I am looking for advice on how to articulate to non-developers that we should purchase FileMaker Server for an office with 8 users - two of us are low-level developers - versus going to a "fully customizable" module in an external system that won't cost anything because our institution already purchased a site license.
We are currently running Filemaker Pro 15 on a peer-to-peer network with a dedicated iMac that continually runs a copy of our database and I manually back up everyday. We can connect to this "server" in-house via the institution's network or via a VPN client when off campus.