There’s no doubt that cloud based (SaaS) software is here to stay. The numbers say it, the research companies are crazy about it and industry stalwarts are looking at how to go the “cloud way”. So what is all this excitement about and why is everyone looking at the cloud as the next big thing they want in their business strategies? Let’s quickly look at some reasons why companies are attracted to cloud-based software in comparison to the traditional on-premise way of doing things.
Reduced costs – The icing on the cake: Yes, the most obvious way to look at it is the true cash savings that organizations derive out of “going cloud”. Companies switching to the cloud replace up-front capital expenses with manageable monthly subscription costs. These monthly expenses include ongoing support, maintenance and upgrades, which lead to savings in IT staffing costs.
Ease of trial and flexibility in commitment: These are not words that are heard when speaking with on-premise providers. Most cloud companies allow prospective customers to take part in a trial period where clients can do a mini-implementation and experiment with the product to see if it meets their requirements. Also, once the decision is made to go ahead with buying the product, customers have the flexibility to end at any time and to choose and adjust how many licenses they need.
Quick implementation cycles: With on-premise software, the lead time between the decision to implement the product and when the customer actually starts using is very high. This is not the case with cloud companies where customers usually go live within weeks and not months.
Rapid adoption and integration: After the implementation cycle, the on-premise software requires training sessions to get the users up to speed to start using the product. This is not the case with the cloud-based products which are designed for quicker adoption, have an intuitive look and feel and, most importantly, are accessible from anywhere (all you need is the internet). Good cloud providers also take care of integration of data to and from the cloud-based solution to other customer systems like the ERP/CRM/databases, etc.
Upgrades and maintenance: With on-premise software, you typically have to deal with downtimes for upgrades and maintenance as well as additional costs. Also, the upgrades are far and fewer with on-premise products. So even while you are implementing a new system there is a risk that the software is already obsolete. This is not the case with cloud-based products, where upgrades and maintenance are seamless and frequent. All customers of cloud-based solutions are always on the latest version.
Better security: Economies of scale better equip cloud providers with means to get the best in class security for the data. Cloud companies work hard at being compliant to the most stringent security requirements like SSAE 16. Few customers can afford to invest as much in the security of their systems and data like the cloud-based companies.
Superior customer experience: Cloud-based companies are known to be more proactive in answering customer support requests due to the fact that they can’t have unsatisfied customers who may end their subscription if they’re not happy. Also, good cloud-based companies have SLAs for uptime, so customers can be confident that the system is available when they need it.
The green lining: Cloud-based solutions allow higher resource utilization. Applications can be run on optimal equipment; lesser equipment means lesser energy to power and cool the equipment. This contributes to decreasing your environmental footprint. It is said that large companies adopting the cloud can reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions by 30 percent and small businesses can save even more energy that their larger counterparts.
In conclusion: As the benefits from cloud-based software outweigh the on-premise offerings, it has been noted that sales of cloud-based applications are growing five times faster than those of traditional applications. Big companies that built multi-million dollar on-premise solutions are waking up to the fact that the cloud is the way of the future. Even conservative organizations like the US Government have adopted cloud-based software and recognize its many benefits. When companies take into account the factors mentioned above, it is an obvious choice to join the cloud revolution.
For companies looking for a top-notch time tracking solution, the answer is Replicon’s cloud-based product suite of time and attendance solutions. The Replicon mission is that software should be hassle-free every step of the way. This is the thought behind the four pillars of customer experience that Replicon is dedicated to –
- Rapid adoption
- Faster time to value
- Seamless upgrades and maintenance
- Superior customer experience