Did you know the last major adoption wave for financial management and accounting software dates back to the late 1980s, following the shift to Microsoft Windows. Every major financial software package today arose from this transition. QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and Oracle all pre-date the Internet. The problem with these systems is that they were never designed for today’s always-on, always-connected, always working world. Instead of being able to configure your system on the fly, you have to pay for costly, permanent customizations. As a result, you find yourself held back by vendor lock-in. This lack of flexibility also makes it difficult to get the reports you need, with the right information at the right time. This is precisely why so many companies are trapped in the past, struggling with old fashioned, outdated financial management and accounting software packages. The fallout from using one of these older systems includes spiraling overhead costs, functional limitations, and unnecessary risks. What’s more, there’s a cost to not being able to gain real-time visibility into your organization’s financial and operational KPIs.
It’s the cost of having your competitors make faster, better decisions than you.
Financial leaders today balance the need to manage an increasing level of business complexity with the need for speed. You’re expected to keep your eye on multiple entities with multiple regulatory frameworks and multiple currencies. Think that’s complicated? Now add frequent change to the equation. A monthly financial check-in isn’t good enough for today’s CFO. You need the agility to make decisions at a moment’s notice, and those decisions must be based on the real-time financial insights.
If you are considering a new financial management system, keep in mind:
On-premises Opportunities: With this traditional model, you license software and run it on your own servers. When considering this model, be sure to account for the capital and operating expenses associated with deployment, operations, support, customization, integration, maintenance, and upgrades. While these costs can be too great for small and mid-sized organizations to sustain, on premises solutions remain a viable option for some larger companies, which often have a built-out IT infrastructure, investment capital, and expertise to support and maintain major software applications.
Hosted Environments: In a hosted solution environment, the software physically resides at a remote data center operated by an expert third-party hosting provider. Your team would usually use a product to access the software over the Internet and see the screens being generated at the hosting provider. This model eliminates the responsibility of maintaining hardware infrastructure, and therefore can help you avoid large upfront capital expenditures. It works by providing you with a unique instance of your financial system on a dedicated server. That means you would still face the same costs for customizations, upgrades, integration, and support and service.
Multi-Tenant Cloud Solutions: Cloud computing solutions (multi-tenant) are cloud solutions. They are multi tenant, which means you can unlock only your own data, but you work from a shared system—a single set of resources, application infrastructure, and database. There are no upfront fees, capital investments, or long-term commitments because you do not buy, license, or manage the underlying hardware, software, or networking infrastructure. The cloud offers compelling and unmatched advantages for deploying financial management software, and particularly financial applications – and it definitely a top option to keep in mind if a new financial management system is on your agenda.