Times are tough but the cloud is here …


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Times are tough there is no doubt about it. Big businesses are downgrading profit forecasts while in the same breath their executives are deploying golden parachutes big enough to pay off Brazil’s national debt. The World economy is rattled, the USA has increased their debt ceiling, Greece is insolvent and European leaders are now meeting to discuss the Euro bailout.

Close to home, Australian companies are downsizing due to the economic downturn and experiencing dropping revenue. Anywhere they can reduce cost is of benefit and is being considered. Many companies are choosing to get back to their core business and reduce their reliance on the non core elements.

Such is the paradigm that is IT. It is a necessary part of doing business today and there is a huge cost in equipment and people and the ongoing and continual upskilling of those people. Added to this is the equipment cost, refresh, software and version updates, equipment end of life. Year 6 maths tells you that there is a lot of energy, expense and resources involved in keeping a company’s IT environment alive, well and up to date.

SaaS (Software as a Service) is enabling leaner business due to the reduction of on site, non-core IT resources.
A company downsizing needs to look at further things they need to do, but in the same evaluation process they need to look at the things they need to stop doing. Spending on IT and infrastructure is certainly something to be considered particularly if you have a small IT team or if it is just you. If it is just you then your company has you for only 11 months, they are obligated to let you take holidays; they are also in a hole if you are sick or unwell. The business functions do not go away and the rudimentary aspects of doing business still need to be performed. An organisation still needs all of the software resources and storage for their critical information; accounting packages; CRM; ERP; data backups, disaster recovery and, of course, there is the statutory requirement for long term record storage.

SAAS or Software as a Service is now being chosen as a way of reducing the ongoing IT costs. It takes away the costs without taking away the access to everything in your database and your specific business intelligence.
What kind of software would you use?

Microsoft certainly have the pedigree for the job. Mcrosoft Dynamics GP is the online account software (GP aka Great Plains). The Microsoft Office 365 is the ‘anywhere access’ to email, documents, contacts and calendars and it is all managed off site by Microsoft. The Microsoft Dynamic CRM is the best way for an organisation to know your customer, understand the depth and breadth of the relationship and the management of the interactions.

There is no need to install software on user computers laptops or worry about the latest updates or patches. SaaS is a good idea for business; the Cloud is here; it is tried and proven and in tough times deserves due consideration.
Microsoft Online Dynamics GP is a good investment in your business; it puts your finance department on the same wavelength with your other departments and keeps your general ledger, payables and receivables, budgeting and collections management highly organised. Couple this with Microsoft Dynamic CRM 2011 and you have an IT solution that ticks all of the boxes. Let’s face it you are in the business of business, not IT.

Bruce de Graaf, PHF AATC
Security Professional; Board Member - Sydney City Bomb Squad; Business Owner; Director of First Impressions; Past President of the Rotary Club of Crows Nest; Mentor Raise Foundation; Downhill Skateboard Racer; World Champion Football Player (World Masters Games 2009); CRM Super User


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