Our recent press release celebrated the go-live of start-up enterprise, North South Wines and their use of Microsoft Dynamics NAV in the Cloud. This fledgling company was keen to minimise initial investment and have a system they knew they could trust whilst they could get on with the important things in life (i.e. selling wine!). Cloud subscription is a great foundation for a new business, so why haven’t we been doing it for years?

The truth is that SaaS (Software As A Service) has been around for longer than I have been working in the industry (don’t ask!). Even the recent fashion for calling it all “Cloud” has been around for a few years now. Many analysts spouted about market concerns over security and reliable access (communications infrastructure issues) as the reasons for slower uptake. I disagree; my view is that there have been two key reasons: first and foremost need, secondly, affordability.

So, do you need a cloud solution? It is no longer enough for a new business to start out on the back of a fag packet (not just because fag packets will soon be relics!), a couple of spreadsheets and the help of the sister-in-law who knows a bit about accounts . . . these days the market has high expectations of the technical competence of even the smallest, newest organisation.

More than ever, companies need to “hit the ground running”. Cloud solutions offer an affordable route to sophisticated technology. The monthly subscription may still seem high compared to the cost of buying a perpetual use licence; however, that’s not just what your monthly fees are paying for. All licensing (Office, Exchange and NAV), on-going maintenance, network / infrastructure overheads; all managed in a monthly sum. This proposition, driven now by market needs, is becoming increasingly popular and we predict it will not be long before bigger companies wonder why they are continuing to invest in a rapidly depreciating overhead.

Is this the dawning of the age of SaaS?