Is True Small Business Cloud Computing Really Cost Feasible?
Is The Price Of The Cloud Still Out Of Reach For Most Small Businesses and Professional Practices?
In his recent article on Forbes, small biz tech blogger Gene Marks contends that, for most small businesses, the most cost effective way to run their business IT is locally and not in the cloud. The contention (somehow) is that the software features and functionality businesses demand isn’t yet available in affordable SaaS solutions, and outsourcing the hosting and management of desktop applications is more costly than doing it yourself.
Because the cost of a cloud solution like the one I have is still too high for most small businesses like mine! The setup I have would normally run me about $100 per user per month. Which means that a typical small business with a ten user network would be paying $12,000 per year. Yes, you read that right. It’s a great service. But is it worth that much? Not to my clients – all thirty of them who considered this option turned it down. At least for now. Forbes.com
Accounting technologist Joanie Mann at Mann-Cooper responds –
Commercial QuickBooks Hosting Providers offer highly competitive pricing –
What this author did not take in to account is the aggressive pricing model which evolved around the hosted QuickBooks desktop editions, and how the community of Authorized Commercial Hosts for QuickBooks offer “full meal deal” hosting of those business applications most small businesses know and love.
Because the QuickBooks desktop editions have such a large market of integrations, add-ons, plug-ins, etc. it was necessary for most of the hosting providers to accept hosting of a wide variety of these applications in order to get adoption of the hosted QuickBooks product with ProAdvisors and accountants as well as their clients.
One of the Authorized QuickBooks Hosting providers, Cloud9RealTime.com, offers both shared hosting of QuickBooks desktop applications and Microsoft Office, as well as virtual server environments where customers may run whatever mixture of desktop software solutions the business already has.
By allowing businesses to place all of their licensed products in a managed environment, where installation of software updates and helpdesk support is part of the service, it enables organizations to have the benefits of remote access and high availability service without having to build the capability themselves – and for a fraction of the cost. Cloud9’s pricing model is far less than described in the article, with services for businesses being available for half (or less) than the $100 per user cited by the author.
The Authorized Host for QuickBooks program and community of providers seems to be fairly unknown amongst small businesses, but owners and managers should look more closely at providers like Cloud9RealTime.com and see what pricing and services are available. It may change your mind, and show that the cloud isn’t out of reach for small businesses.