Let’s say you own a high-end furniture startup. You started in a co-working space with a workshop, but not you’re ready for your own facility.
You find a space that’s mostly perfect but needs a little bit of customization before you can move in your team. You get the necessary permits and do the renovations. Six months later, you’re in the new workshop. And it’s exactly what you need.
For two years.
Since moving in, your team has grown and you’re developing a new product. Now you need further customizations and maybe even a bigger space overall.
Unfortunately, you spent most of your capital a couple years ago when you moved into this current facility. So you’ll stay here for a few more years while you put your new product launch on hold and build up the revenue to transition to a new space.
So what does this imaginary startup have to do with cloud billing?
Your high-end furniture startup has no choice but to be constrained by its physical environment. You can’t move a furniture workshop to the cloud — yet.
But businesses that are using on-premises billing systems do have a choice. When they start to outgrow their current billing systems, they don’t have to go through a lengthy development process for a new system — only to go through another lengthy development process in a few years.
The cloud is agile, so it can change as your business changes.
That’s why 96% of businesses use the cloud.
But how do you know if your business is ready to make the leap to a cloud billing system? These five questions will help you decide.
Have you outgrown your current system?
With the rise of subscription models and speedy go-to-market times for many SaaS and XaaS businesses, you may find that your current legacy billing system was built for a business model you no longer use — or that your existing system doesn’t meet ALL your needs.
You could modify your on-premises system or — if the need is great enough — develop a completely new billing system, but there’s a chance you’ll be doing it again in a few years.
The benefit of a cloud billing system is that you never have to outgrow your current billing system because it’s not a fixed structure. It’s agile, and you can make modifications immediately as your needs change.
Are you paying expensive licensing fees?
How much of your annual budget goes to pay the licensing fees for your current billing system?
Licensing fees for on-premises billing systems must cover the cost of a significant amount of tangible infrastructure. On the other hand, the cost of cloud infrastructure is shared among thousands, so cloud billing systems often operate on a monthly subscription fee that is substantially less expensive than traditional licensing fees. And they have greater cost predictability because infrastructure costs are directly tied to the subscription service.
Do you need to spend your limited capital developing new products or services?
The high cost of setting up a legacy billing system can limit your ability to make other capital expenditures that may be necessary for scaling your business.
Since the implementation costs of setting up a cloud billing system are relatively low and the ongoing costs can be identified as operational expenses, businesses that use the cloud are able to spend their capital on products and services rather than an expensive billing system.
Are you spending thousands on IT support? Or not getting the IT support your system needs?
If you have an on-premises billing system, you’re probably using either an in-house IT specialist or an outside company that provides IT support when you need it. Either option can be pricey.
Some cloud billing systems, such as Congero Cloud Services, include technical support as part of a monthly subscription package. That means you’ll be working with an IT specialist who knows the system inside and out, and you won’t be surprised by unanticipated IT costs. You’ll know exactly what that line item is in your budget every month.
Do you need to increase the reliability or security of your system?
If your legacy billing system has ever gone down, then you’ve watched your employees’ frustration at having to stop work and wait for someone to get things back up and running. Perhaps it took a few hours—or maybe a few days. It was probably time you didn’t have to waste.
You may also be concerned about keeping your system safe from natural disasters—like a flood or fire—as well as from hackers.
Storing your data and running your billing system off-site in the cloud significantly increases the security provided by most legacy systems. Cloud service providers have multiple levels of security and specialize in keeping data safe. In fact, most reputable cloud providers – such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) – are certified under the EU-US Privacy Shield. AWS also maintains certification with robust security standards, such as ISO 27001, SOC 1/2/3 and PCI DSS Level 1.
Your cloud provider is also available to address any potential problems with your service immediately.
So let’s recap. A cloud billing system is:
● More agile than a legacy system
● Less expensive than a legacy system
● More reliable than a legacy system
● More secure than a legacy system
A cloud billing system seems like a clear winner. That doesn’t mean moving to the cloud right now is the best choice for every business, but there are very real benefits that most businesses would appreciate.
If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, it may be time to consider whether you’re ready for a change.