In the cloud has become the place to be; right? We’ve all heard that for so long, that we believe it’s what we want; but there’s far more to this question than meets the eye…first of all, which cloud?
Would you be surprised to know that ‘the cloud’ can be a public place or a private place? And that the software you’re considering might be the deciding factor? Why would that be?
Some software programs are written to be ‘browser based’. Simply put it means that your software was designed to be accessed online. The most common reasons for this are that the software needs to be accessed from your office, but also by team members that work outside of the office; CRM is a good example of this kind of software.
Some software programs have both an ‘on site’ version and a ‘cloud based’ version, and often the cloud based version has lower startup costs; good to know if you need to limit initial costs. That’s especially important if you weren’t planning on buying a server or hiring an IT person to manage it; at least not at the start. But doesn’t your company’s size matter?
Yes, size does matter. And although there will always be some types of software that should be on line, as your company grows, you may want to have your operational/ accounting and finance software in house.
The recommendations we all hear to move to the cloud are because approximately 85% of all companies are fairly small, their needs are fairly uncomplicated and they have relatively few people accessing their software. But as companies grow, so do their needs and the number of people who need to access and work with all the software packages that a company needs.
And that brings us to the next challenge: having multiple, unintegrated software packages isn’t ideal no matter where they are located. Nobody wants to have their team duplicating their work in multiple software programs. It’s a total waste of time and all too often leads to a ton of data entry errors.
So in summary: if your company is just starting up, the cloud is an ok place to be. Startup costs are minimal and most online programs will be just fine for your needs.
When your company begins to grow rapidly, you have lots of team members (in the office and maybe some remote), you aren’t easily able to get the reports and information that you need, or too many people are entering the same information into multiple systems, it’s most likely time to look at financial/ operating systems that are more robust and may run on a local server in your office.
Have more questions? Not sure where your company fits in all this? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and lets set up a time to chat. It would be my honor to help you sort things out.