In our final installment of our Cloud Computing 101 series we’re going to focus on cloud computing for finance departments. Specifically what SaaS (software as a service) offerings exist today and where it may be heading in the future.
First of all what is the SaaS market look like? Here come more acronyms! Please bear with us! This is a helpful way to look at SaaS though.
We’ve created this table based on a report by Deloitte and our own take on the Enterprise SaaS landscape which is broken down in to the following sub-segments:
|SaaS-Category||What It Does||Who Has a Cloud Offering|
|CRM||Customer Relationship Management||Oracle, Salesforce.com, Rightnow, Microcroft Dyanamics CRM, Nimble, Netsuite|
|ERP||Enterprise Resource Planning||SAP, Netsuite, Workday, Intacct|
|SCM||Supply Chain Management||SCM Supply Chain Management Descartes, Ketera, Ariba|
|CCC||Content (capture, integration and management), Communications and Collaboration||Yakidoo, Webex, Citrix, SAP|
This table adapted from report: “Cloud Computing, Forecasting Change” (Deloitte, 2010). Yakidoo has broken down content into three key process areas that should be considered for an effective cloud service: they are capture, integration and management.
According to Gartner the popularity of SaaS had been increasing as early as 2008 when 40% of companies reported using SaaS within their organizations. This was up from 15% in 2006. More than half the companies using SaaS already planned to increase their investments with 25% planning to transition from on-premise to on-demand applications.
The projected growth between 2008 and 2013 in these sub-segments, according to Deloitte and Gartner, are illustrated in the chart below entitled: “Global SaaS Revenue” projections. It gives some insights in to the areas that finance departments will consider investing in SaaS applications.
From a finance perspective companies will lean towards investing in the cloud when it comes to content management, ERP and supply chain management. The key thing to consider from a content management perspective is how data will be captured especially when it comes to paper documents like invoices.
Invoice processing and management continues to plague many CFOs and should be addressed first so that all data can be captured and properly integrated in to enterprise systems including ERP systems and Content Management systems. We’ve discussed the issues and costs associated to paper invoice processing and management in an earlier blog post.
With cloud services becoming more popular and accepted, finance departments now have various options to deploy document capture and content management applications. For example, service/solution providers like Yakidoo can implement data capture and content management applications on-premise, as a managed service or via the cloud.
The key is to understand what you need to accomplish, how your business processes and uses information, and what your companies policies and preferences are regarding data management.
A good starting point to discover what the right options are for your company can be a business optimization workshop. Sorry about the promotional plug! We do offer them.
In future posts we’ll be outlining how we are using these workshops to help customers understand and decide on the better options for data capture and content management.
We’d also be happy to act on your behalf and get answers to the key questions and concerns you have about cloud computing. If you have questions leave a comment below, contact us through this web form, send us a Tweet or contact me personally on Linkedin. Help us shape the editorial agenda for this blog so you can get the most value out of what we produce.
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Victor Bensusan is CEO of Yakidoo. He has 20 years experience in Finance and Information Technology primarily in the area of process automation, information management and business performance improvement.