By: Thomas G. Stephens Jr., CPA, CITP
Blog Series: Part 1 of 3
Helping our organizations run more smoothly, efficiently, professionally, and (hopefully!) profitably will always be primary objectives. We have identified six technology trends that may help you to achieve these objectives. While not all of the these technologies may be applicable to all organizations, the pervasiveness with which these tools, services, and devices are appearing, leave no doubt that these are the technology trends you should monitor and capitalize on.
Software Licensing is Changing
In the past, most individuals and organizations did not spend much time at all considering how they licensed software. Rather, as needs arose, they simply purchased licenses of boxed software, such as Microsoft Office®. While these options still exist and may be viable in many cases, for an increasing number of individuals and organizations, licensing software through monthly subscription plans provides not only more functionality, but it reduces costs.
For example, companies seeking to acquire “traditional” licenses of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013® will pay over $500 (MSRP) for each license of the software. However, you can acquire the same software in an Office 365® subscription model for as little as $12 per user, per month. Further, when acquired through the Office 365® subscription model, you can install the software on up to five computers that you use, as opposed to one computer in the traditional model. As you seek to update/upgrade/replace your current software, inquire to see if your software publisher offers a subscription model and if so, carefully weigh the merits of changing how you license your software.
Cloud Collaboration is Real
As workforces grow increasingly mobile and professionals continue to need to collaborate with others, both internally and externally, using the Cloud as a collaboration tool is gaining favor rather rapidly. In the past, team members would accomplish this by subscribing to individual accounts with services such as Dropbox®, Box®, SugarSync®, and Google Drive®. Although each of these services provides exceptional levels of functionality, challenges exist with respect to the ownership and security of cloud-based organizational data licensed by individuals. Accordingly, many organizations desiring to reap the benefits of cloud-based collaboration are turning to corporate-level services such as SharePoint®, AccountantsWorld®, SkyDrive Pro®, and ShareFile® to use the Cloud safely and securely as a mechanism for collaboration.
By opting for corporate-level accounts, you can stay in control and ownership of the data that you and your team may choose to store in the Cloud, yet still receive all of the benefits of being able to collaborate with other users on critical documents. Further, storing critical documents in secure Cloud-based services allows you to retrieve those documents from most, if not all, devices you use, including your desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone. The combination of these factors leads to increased organizational efficiency, productivity, and security—all of which means that we cannot ignore the Cloud as a collaboration vehicle.
Every individual and every organization is different. As such, not all of the technologies described in this article will prove to be useful to all readers. However, you should keep a close eye on each of the items mentioned and carefully consider whether implementing one or more of these technologies will prove to be beneficial.
Mr. Stephens is a shareholder in K2 Enterprises, where he develops and presents continuing professional education programs to accounting, financial, and other business professionals across North America. You may contact him at [email protected].
NCACPA partners with K2 Enterprises for their delivery of top-notch technology focused CPE webinars. Click to see a complete listing of K2 webinars and to register.
Mr. Stephens is a shareholder in K2 Enterprises, where he develops and presents continuing professional education programs to accounting, financial, and other business professionals across North America. You may contact him at [email protected]