With the increase of Internet usage, software packages that were once proprietary are now offered through the public cloud. This change in the software distribution model has had a profound effect on the way companies think about software packages. For companies that have not yet adopted the cloud model, the following discussion may seem pointless. However, for those who have already adopted the model and are wondering what the impact of this shift is, this article provides insight into the changing business environment and the effect it is having on software packages.
Most software packages that are sold on the Internet are developed as single-page applications. This means that the customer uses only one application software package, such as Microsoft Excel to produce a spread sheet. Once the customer completes a task, the software package automatically opens another spreadsheet in the cloud computing data center. The data used in the spreadsheet is stored on the public cloud. Because the software provides a single function, it can be quickly and easily reused by other employees. In this manner, cloud computing helps reduce the cost of software installation and maintenance.
If the software does not need to be stored in the company’s data center, the business can reduce its IT budget and spend the funds on other aspects of the business. Furthermore, many of the applications provided through the cloud computing data center are considered “utility computing.” That is, the applications are designed to perform the same tasks that an individual desktop computer would, but do not require the licensing fees that enterprise application software requires. Consequently, utility computing lowers the cost of purchasing the applications.
Cloud computing can also improve the ability of information technology departments to acquire new business. This method of acquiring new customers allows the IT department to access the necessary information technology infrastructure at the same location where the accounting software packages are located. This means that the accounting software package can be accessed at any time from anywhere in the world. Additionally, there is less IT costs associated with the process and IT personnel do not have to take time out of their day to make a trip to the local IT department to retrieve an accounting software package.
One area that accounting software proves most useful is in virtual environments. A virtual environment refers to the use of hosted software on servers without installing physical computers. The hosted environment saves money by avoiding the costs of maintaining a large number of physical computers. Instead, a business only needs to pay for the computing resources that it uses, as well as space rental.
The benefits of cloud computing to an accounting department go beyond cost savings and the reduction of IT costs. Accounting software packages that are hosted in the cloud prove to be easier to access and more efficient than applications that are locally installed. In addition, cloud computing greatly reduces the time required for data storage. Also, users only need to pay for the resources they use. Cloud computing is cost effective because it only requires a small up front investment, but the return on the initial investment greatly outweighs the expense in terms of saving money and reducing IT costs.
Cloud computing also provides a visual interface for end-users. Most small businesses have limited staff and limited floor space. A business that uses cloud computing to run its accounting software saves space because it does not require large office spaces and does not require a graphic user interface. Also, a business does not have to hire a large number of employees to handle the management of its account systems. There is no need for a person to program in any specific way. In addition, cloud computing eliminates the requirement for a user to understand and use complex programming languages that are necessary for maintaining personal computers.
Cloud computing is rapidly becoming the choice for small-scale and medium-scale businesses that are trying to improve their efficiency and reduce their costs. It allows a business to access necessary software programs when they need them, eliminates the need for an employee to be on call all day and night, reduces the need for additional staff members to deal with administrative tasks, and can be used by any person regardless of their skill level. Cloud computing makes it possible for a business to increase its profitability while reducing its footprint on resources.