It’s amazing to think that accounting software has remained pretty much the same since the 1980s. In the 1980s, when businesses embraced personal computers, financial software was no longer just available on mainframes and was available for any sized business that had desktop computers. The next big innovation came when the Windows operating system began to replace DOS.
Cloud Computing now offers businesses anytime, anywhere accessibility. And it’s very clear that business owners want 24×7, easy to access solutions – IDC estimates that global revenue from public cloud computing services is grown at five times the rate of traditional, on-premise software. The reason for this acceleration is that the cloud offers compelling and unmatched advantages for deploying business software.
Today, if you are shopping for new accounting software, one of your big decisions is what platform you would like your accounting software to run on. Do you want an on-premise solution, a hosted solution or a cloud computing solution?
Defining the 3 platform options:
- On-Premises solutions – This is the traditional implementation where you purchase a software license and run the software on your own hardware, servers and PCs. During the course of the year, periodic updates occur and it is your responsibility to upgrade the software. If end users want to access the system when they are physically outside of the office, their laptops must have a special log-in portal (like Citrix) to access the system. It’s up to you to back up your data and develop a disaster recovery plan.
- Hosted solutions – In a hosted environment, the software sits in a remote data center (rather than your office) that is operated by a hosting provider. Users access the software over the internet, using a product like Citrix, allowing them to view and use the software. Hosted solutions eliminate the responsibility of maintaining a hardware infrastructure.
- Cloud computing solutions – Sometimes referred to as Software as a Service (SaaS), cloud computing represents a new breed of business applications specifically designed for web deployment. The solution is a shared, scalable system that users access over the Internet (just like Google, YouTube, Amazon, Go-to-Meeting or online banking). You don’t need to buy, license, operate, or manage the underlying hardware, software, or networking infrastructure. You don’t even have to worry about software upgrades as there are handled by the cloud vendor. These solutions are based on new technology – not technology from the 1980s – that ensures that even if you make extensive changes to the systems, customizations will automatically continue to work across upgrades. Cloud computing –based service is typically provided on a per-user/per-months subscription basis. Solid cloud applications can be delivered immediately and can be scaled upwardly or downwardly (depending on the needs of your business). Most importantly, ROI is usually faster and higher with cloud-based applications than with hosted or on-premises software.
All of our financial and professional services solutions are available in a web-based “cloud” model. InnoVergent offers cloud computing solutions from Intacct and NetSuite that give you quick access to the right data, at an affordable price, with no requirement for additional infrastructure. We can also assist you with customizing and integrating solutions.