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Trend Towards Cloud Continues for SMB Companies

Today's guest post is courtesy of my Kronos colleague, Josh Davis.   Josh is responsible for marketing our cloud based workforce management solution to small and medium businesses.  Read on to learn why cloud solutions can be an especially good fit for small businesses whose IT resources are scarce.

In our newest installment of the Workforce Management Trends Video Series we've gathered some of the top payroll providers in the industry to talk about the cloud and how it compares to the traditional on-premise software model. Check out the cloud episode here or click on the link at the bottom of this post.

It's easy to forget that companies are still using on-premise solutions when you see cloud adoption rates over the past few years. In fact, according to Gartner, the traditional deployment model for on-premises software is expected to significantly shrink from 34 percent today to 18 percent by 2017. With this data, we can assume that 82 percent of all software deployments will be in the cloud in the next two years.

We're in the midst of something of a computing revolution. It's comparable to how products were built and distributed prior to the industrial revolution versus after the industrial revolution. The cloud is continually a topic across the Kronos blogosphere and internet as a whole.

Cloud is constantly being covered as a trend - especially in the small and midsize business (SMB) space. But why?

Because it's simple.

When we look at cloud vs. on-premise solutions, there are a number of reasons leveraging a cloud, or more specifically software as a service (SaaS), based solution is much easier not only for SMBs, but larger organizations as well.

• Upfront costs are lower. Outside of an implementation fee, there's nothing to pay for upfront. SaaS uses the same model as your electric company or cable provider - it's simply a month-to-month payment for the service you receive, which typically allows you to cancel at any time. The perpetual license constraints no longer have to be a problem or risk for your business.

• Installation on your servers isn't necessary, so your IT resources aren't a constraint to progress. Leveraging a new solution for your business no longer has to be the major undertaking it was in the past. As a result, leveraging a new solution can provide an incredibly short time to value for the customer, allowing ROI to be realized much faster.

• You don't need to invest in new servers.  Unless we're talking about employees clocking in and out on a computer or a time clock like InTouch, the need for hardware no longer exits. Your entire solution is accessible on the web via a browser.

• Maintenance isn't required. Security, reliability, availability, performance, and infrastructure, oh my! These don't have to consume your thoughts and create that stress knot in your back anymore. They're all covered by the service-level agreement (SLA) guaranteed by your vendor.

• Data backups are no longer your problem. The risk of data loss is mitigated with SaaS. With an on-premise solution, if a business' location was to be hit by a natural disaster and flooded for instance, the businesses solutions would be inoperable. With SaaS your data is always accessible from anywhere at any time, and if the vendor's data center is taken down, you can confirm with the SLA that there is a warm standby facility ready to go that mirrors your data.

• Upgrades are automatic.  Upgrades to the software simply happen with SaaS. You'll see new features as they're released typically every one to three months. There's nothing your IT team needs to do in order to make them available. And the pay-as-you-go model mentioned above means that you're already paying to get access to the latest and greatest version of the software - there's no additional cost.

• IT resources can focus on other initiatives. With the vendor taking care of the software, support, and troubleshooting for you, your IT resources are suddenly freed up to focus more on high-value activities and work on the greater strategy of technology and the role it plays in your business.

Like I said, the cloud and, more specifically, SaaS helps organizations of all sizes to operate more efficiently, but if you don't believe me - check out what the real experts have to say.

You can read more from Josh on workforce management for small business on his blog.  

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