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Cloud computing may not be in the sky nor is it a cloud, but commentators say the industry will be worth £300bn by 2019. There’s nothing fluffy about the revolution in using on line accounting software.
We dream to be free from the chore and expense of software upgrades, security patches, compatibility issues and the never ending expense of buying hardware for this and hardware for that, Which is why, in the utopian republic of Wifiworld, where download speeds are a third-world problem, cloud computing is the democratising force that gives every citizen access to the latest technology and makes everyone’s opportunities equal. We’ll vote for that. In fact, we already have. Springfords has embraced online and cloud based accounting systems, that make it easier to record transactions, track expenses, and interact with us.
It’s only a matter of a decade ago that cloud computing was a boffin-inspired dreamland, and even a few years ago, only the nerdiest of hipsters dabbled in an ephemeral relationship between their chai-latte stained laptop and the pristine world of software on the net, instead of painstakingly installing and upgrading on their computer.
Now, it’s set to be the norm in just about as long as it takes for the barista to brew up and announce your name and caffeinated choice to the entire clientele in the internet cafe. Down to earth technology market research specialists Gartner say that the cloud computing industry will be worth £300bn by 2019. That’s a lot of chai-latte.
The traditional method of weighing down your computer with ever larger software packages, that perform every conceivable task, even though you’ll probably only require a fraction of that capability, is old hat. The modern way is to access the functionality you need, when you need it, from a software package that’s stored on a remote server, commonly referred to as the cloud, and connected to you via the ever-more ubiquitous wifi.
A bit of clever manipulation, and it’s as good as having the package on your own machine, instead of squizzillions of megabits of space taken up on your hard drive. All you need is enough space for your data and the memory to communicate with the cloud.
If you’re not on board with the phenomenon, you’re not alone. According to research by the London School of Economics, and commercial partners Rackspace and Intel, nearly two-thirds of UK businesses are not taking advantage of cloud computing, and are at a disadvantage as a result.
It should be noted that at least two of those partners have a direct commercial interest, but the bottom line is that cloud computing is set to have an effect on everyone’s bottom line before long.
Earlier this year, we hit on the pros and cons of clouding in our newsletter, the straight-laced sensible brother of this blog, for people who do up their collar and straighten their tie before going out in the morning. We checked off all the plus points, such as universal availability (allegedly), subscription based cost management, and, surprisingly not just for train-spotters, the benefits of cross-platform operability.
We also listed the cons - like not-so universal availability, ensuring security of data and security of supply.
If you’d like to explore the prospect of cloud computing, and put a cost benefit analysis to the test, a great way to start would be a chat with our accounting boffins at Springfords. When it comes to cloud computing, we’ll keep your feet firmly on the ground.