More and more companies are investing in cloud-based solutions, also commonly referred to as software-as-a-service (SaaS) or hosted, Web-based, or on-demand software. In fact, leading technology industry analyst firm IDC forecasts that worldwide spending on cloud software will top $42 billion by 2012, representing close to 27% compound annual growth over the next several years.
Why should YOU consider taking your business to the cloud?
1. No Capital Investment
Desktop software can cost a lot of money upfront. You’re not just purchasing the software itself, you’ll often need new hardware to support the application. And, that can get quite expensive. As a result, total cost of ownership will be much greater, and it will take longer for you to realize a return on your investment. Cloud solutions typically offer a much more affordable and budget-friendly “pay-per-use” pricing model.
2. Simplified Licensing
Vendor contracts for on-site solutions can be rather complex, and license allocation can be quite a challenge to track and manage. Licenses are often used improperly – and in some cases, illegally – distributed, putting companies at risk for fines and penalties for non-compliance or software piracy. Usage agreements for cloud-based software are far simpler, and therefore, much easier to adhere to.
3. Rapid Roll-out
Desktop software is often associated with long, cumbersome installations. Depending on the sophistication of the solution, it could take weeks, or even months, before your users can start reaping the benefits. But, because cloud solutions are already up and running at the service provider’s site, customers can often begin utilizing the software almost immediately.
4. Minimized IT Burden
Ongoing maintenance, troubleshooting, and support are provided by the vendor with Web-based, on-demand software. Unlike on-premise systems, this frees IT staff from tedious day-to-day monitoring and administration, allowing them to spend time on other important IT projects.
5. More Enhancements
Traditional desktop software vendors only release new versions every one and a half to two years. Which means, customers must wait that long for new features and capabilities. However, because cloud solution vendors can more easily rollout new functionality, they tend to do so more often, which allows them to respond much more rapidly to customer feedback and user demands.
Cloud solution providers understand that the “one size fits all” approach to software is ineffective – a message that some on-premise vendors have yet to receive. Many experts believe that on-demand systems are much easier to modify to meet specific business requirements, or to satisfy unique end user needs.
7. Go Green
Eliminating the need to operate new hardware will cut down on energy consumption significantly. This makes cloud-based software the more environmentally-friendly option.
8. Improved Information Sharing / Collaboration
Want to share data with customers, suppliers, and other business partners? With cloud computing, it’s fast and easy. All they need is an Internet connection, a user ID, and password to gain access to your application. Granting them access to your desktop software, however, can be far more complicated, since they will need to connect to your internal corporate network.
9. Advanced Security
Any software you install on-site will be subject to the same security techniques as your other network systems. This doesn’t pose a problem if your company is diligent about the policies and tools it uses to protect data from breach – but how many organizations can actually make that claim? Cloud solution vendors, on the other hand, understand the impact a breach can have on their business. They can’t afford for customers to lose confidence in their service, and therefore leverage the latest and greatest security features to maintain the full integrity of information at all times.
10. Disaster Protection
What kinds of mechanisms do you have in place in case disaster strikes? Chances are, not many. On-demand solution providers, however, are always well prepared. Frequent backups, redundant servers set up at off-site data centers, and other techniques are employed to ensure full business continuity and recovery in the event of a hardware failure, natural disaster, or other catastrophe.
To learn more about moving your business communications to the cloud, visit our Web site at www.sliderocket.com.