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Cloud Computing – the Pros & Cons

I often get asked by clients about cloud computing. Is it the best option their needs? The answer depends upon your specific requirements & how you use the software.

PROS

1. Always up to date. Software that needs to updated regularly is often better via a cloud subscription service. That way you have the latest software as it’s released by the vendor.

2. Easy Budgeting. It’s easier to budget for the regular Operating Expense of an annual software subscription rather than a one-off Capital Expenditure when it’s time to update your software.

3. Ongoing Support. Most vendors include some type of tech support with their cloud service. This makes it easier to access help when you need it.

4. Platform Independent. Some cloud software is accessed via a web browser in a similar way to how you access your Netbank. Any operating system that uses a browser can use the cloud service, meaning you can run it on Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS as well as Windows.

CONS

1. Annual rather than one-off expense. An annual subscription can still be cheap in you need to keep you software up-to-date, but if you keep your software a long time & update infrequently, a perpetual one-off license is definitely cheaper.

2. Reliable Internet Access. Not all cloud offerings require internet access. Adobe Creative Cloud is a annual subscription that you download & run on your local computer, just like the perpetual licenses. However, certain cloud offerings such as the online accounting services like QuickBooks Online & Xero, are unusable with internet access.