Demystifying Cloud Computing

August 18, 2011

1:00 pm

This post originally appeared on facc-chicago by Ken Hafft. 

For anyone who doesn’t already know, the world of cloud computing is upon us. Cloud computing saves time and lots of money and creates efficiencies the likes of which have not been seen before. It is a form of file sharing with the conveniences of automatic backups and automatic software updates. Cloud computing provides a much clearer view of license and support costs, is much faster and easier to implement, and practically eliminates Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. Wow! That is powerful.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what all of this means.

Software-as-a-Service, otherwise known as SaaS, is enabling users of desktop software to use this software via the World Wide Web. The user simply needs an Internet connection from any computer in the world and a valid username and password. After connecting to his/her final destination, the user is able to drive the software through the web browser rather than connect it to an on-premises desktop. This is a superior method of file sharing that facilitates collaboration with others in the office, including sales people and office administrators or third parties such as accountants. So if you need a quick training session on how to perform a specific task or learn a new feature within the software, multiple users can gain access to the software simultaneously to get this training done – FAST.

Cloud computing fractionally reduces the total cost of operations, whether by avoiding expensive desktop deployment or installation issues, by leasing software (rather than purchasing multiple licenses), or by saving vast amounts of time (rather than supporting or maintaining the software on multiple desktops-updating or backing up data files, acquiring additional hardware, and providing ongoing management of IT infrastructure). Additionally, the nature of SaaS allows the user to focus more on selling his/her services or products without the hassles of providing major resources to the IT area.

In the world of cloud computing, whether you are testing new software to purchase or want to add new seats to a license, SaaS software speeds up the process of implementation by a large margin. Literally, within minutes, a user can add existing seats (additional licenses for additional users) using the SaaS platform.  As opposed to the time-consuming tasks of scheduling IT personnel to purchase, install, and update the software one at a time on a single desktop, cloud computing provides far-reaching and money-saving benefits.

Automatic software updates and backups also create an agile process of product development, allowing the user to quickly reap the benefits by utilizing more value-added features in the software. This speed of implementation and deployment is one of the primary reasons so many firms are leaning towards the “clouds.”

So whether you would like quicker access and sharper efficiencies, cost reduction, or greater benefits of implementation, consider SaaS and the “cloud” to become a more productive company.

Editor’s Note: Guest author Ken Hafft is a CPA at Frost Ruttenberg & Rothblatt, PC. He advises small and medium sized clients in the professional services, manufacturing, and real estate industries. He is also an Adjunct College instructor and an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and teaches QuickBooks accounting software to his clients. Ken is an avid Cloud Computing user and advocate, including QuickBooks in the Clouds. Tech Cocktail is proud to be partners with FR&R.

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