In this blog post I’ll cover the basics of what different types of cloud service can offer you and my personal top 3 reasons for moving your AP invoice processing to a cloud-based solution.
The fact that other types of business solutions and many other companies are moving to the cloud could be one reason to “jump on the train”. Research shows that cloud-based business solutions are steadily growing - according to Rightscale’s 2016 State of the Cloud Report. 95% of companies are already using cloud services to some extent with 29% of respondents being heavy users of cloud-based infrastructure and solutions.
Obviously, you should not move to the cloud just because everyone else is doing it. Continue reading for my top 3 reasons for cloud-based AP invoice automation further below.
Forget about the middle way, true cloud is the future
Before we dive into the benefits, I want to make clear what cloud means to me. There are different versions of cloud services:
- Public cloud is when the services and infrastructure are provided offsite over the internet. This is what I would call “true cloud” because it is the only type that brings you all the benefits of a cloud community and shared resources.
- Hosted or private cloud is when the service is maintained on a private network. Here you will still need to purchase and maintain the software and infrastructure and miss out on the benefits of sharing resources on a public cloud. It’s basically the same as hosting your solution in-house.
- Hybrid cloud includes a variety of public and private options with multiple providers. The downside here is that you will need to keep track of multiple platforms and make sure your different business solutions can communicate with each other.
I make it no secret that I would strongly recommend a public cloud service. Note that the reasons and benefits I list below for cloud-based AP invoice automation assume a public or “true cloud” service.
Finally: my top 3 reasons to consider a cloud-based AP invoice automation solution:
#1: No more costly and tedious upgrade projects
With cloud-based AP invoice automation you will always have access to the latest and greatest version of the solution. Upgrades will be made regularly and pushed out to all cloud users with a notification that new functionality is available. Plus, whenever another user of the solution detects an issue or submits an idea for improvement, then those fixes will be made available to the entire cloud community – right away. No need for consultants to come on site and hammer the upgrades into your local installation. It will just be there. It feels like magic.
#2: Lower total cost of ownership
With a cloud-based solution you pay a monthly subscription fee which makes your investment both predictable and more cost efficient. In addition, the cloud-based solution will significantly reduce the cost for implementation and totally cut out costs for local installations and maintenance of hardware and software as well as upgrade projects.
#3: Available everywhere, anytime, on any device
The cloud gives you platform-independent availability and flexibility. Everywhere and on all devices. With full access to the AP invoice automation solution your employees can approve their invoices on the run – on the way to a sales meeting, at the airport or at home. The fact that the cloud is open 24/7 improves efficiency and the user experience for employees, whatever country or time zones they are in. Your gain? Shortened lead times, payments made on time (or ahead), happy suppliers and potential bottom line revenue in terms of supplier discounts.
You know what? There are even more benefits of moving to the cloud but I couldn’t get them all in to this blog post. Check out this whitepaper 5 reasons for AP invoice automation in the cloud for more details.