Martin and Associates

Reporting and Budgeting in the Cloud for Dynamics

Reporting and Budgeting in the Cloud for Dynamics

Reporting and budgeting on the web with Software as a Service (SaaS) platforms are building momentum in their popularity and relevance to Microsoft Dynamics customers, yet the options seem to still be confusing to some, regarding deployment, functionalities, and security.  At Martin & Associates, we can understand the confusion.  Despite seeming pretty simple conceptually and becoming more popular and accessible, the traditional on-premises software might be all you know, so there’s no hands-on experience with computing in the Cloud.  You likely are curious about the price tag, accessibility, management, and security surrounding web-based reporting and budgeting.  That all said, there are plenty of powerful and modern Business Intelligence (BI) solutions in the Cloud, and it would benefit you to familiarize yourself with your options.  In this article, we will cover Cloud-based financial reporting and budgeting by taking a look at today’s solutions for Microsoft Dynamics users.

Let’s dive right into the pros of web-based tools.  Implementation of Cloud-based reporting and budgeting solutions is typically faster because you are not deploying on-premises.  Installing and maintaining your Cloud solution is solely the vendor’s responsibility.  This difference let the IT team off the hook when it comes to deploying or managing the technology, and your own server does not have to take on the new software or slow anything down that is implemented by the IT department because it functions on the vendor’s own server.  Web-based financial reporting and budgeting also smartly assesses performance needs and adapts accordingly to accommodate peak performance times.  An initial concern of security (when Cloud technology was brand new) has been addressed by software vendors with today’s strongest security protection.  An additional aspect that is a hot topic: SaaS costs versus on-premises price tags.

The topic of the difference between on-premises and SaaS pricing has been covered many times, and yet, providers of both types are still positing that their route is more affordable over time for the consumer.  Regarding a return on your investment (ROI), on-premises solution manufacturers argue that owning the program outright will pay for itself in 3-5 years’ time, particularly if you consider the monthly subscription of Cloud SaaS pricing does not ever end.  Alternatively, Cloud software vendors point to hidden costs, including support, training, consulting, hardware, and any updates and upgrades, that will add up and potentially decrease the value or importance of owning your applications on-premises.

At Martin & Associates, we would recommend doing your own math, and not just because it might seem less biased.  If you do your own research about the costs associated with either method, you will be able to put together an estimate that is personalized to your next 3-5 years.  Just remember that SaaS does not mean that you are paying off a solution.  You are subscribing monthly to have a software vendor host your data, maintain and update your technology, without involving the IT department.  Another common question: are SaaS and Cloud computing the same?

To continue learning more about Cloud-based reporting and budgeting for Microsoft Dynamics, read the rest of this article here.


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