In a report published earlier this month, the International Data Corporation predicted that public spending in IT on cloud services would increase by 350% by 2015. In addition to those findings in the IDC’s research, they predict that by 2015, cloud services will account for 46% of new net growth in IT spending, SaaS cloud services will account for 75% of spending in public cloud services, and almost 50% of cloud service revenue will come from America. This incredible forecast demonstrates just how important cloud computing will become in the next few years, and it explains why so many accounting software vendors are quick to offer cloud accounting among their services.

UNIT4 To Offer Cloud Accounting Services

Just last week, UNIT4 announced the launch of its own cloud accounting platform, Shared Journey. It allows a group of companies or organizations to launch what they call a “shared services operation” that’s based on UNIT4’s Coda Financials or Agresso Business World software solutions. This platform would take companies one step closer towards working seamlessly together, thus paving the way for more partnerships between the private and public sectors. At the same time, Shared Journey allows the companies and organizations within the service to maintain their independence while still benefiting from the efficiency of cloud computing.

UNIT4 is not the only cloud accounting vendor, either. NetSuite is probably one of the most vocal companies in the cloud accounting sphere, and they’ve been pushing their customers to the cloud for a while. Other companies, such as Microsoft, are utilizing the cloud to deliver their products as well, so no doubt cloud computing is the future of all business operations, including accounting, right?

Where Is the Cloud Headed?

With software solutions such as that on the horizon, how much further will cloud accounting go once more and more companies being to offer cloud-based solutions? Since the IDC predicts that cloud and SaaS solutions will nearly corner the IT services market, then it’s more than likely that companies that move to the cloud faster than others will be ahead of the curve in the business world. At the same time, the disadvantages of the cloud are not altogether clear as of yet. Amazon’s outage in late April demonstrated that the cloud is not by any means foolproof, and enterprises cannot afford to have their cloud accounting system go down at critical periods.

So which way should corporations go? Is cloud accounting and computing truly the wave of the future, or is the Amazon cloud outage a harbinger of things to come? Are the benefits of cloud and SaaS solutions worth the risk, or is there even a risk to worry about? The IDC’s research is thought-provoking, but it unfortunately doesn’t really help us figure out whether the cloud is the right place for our delicate financial management systems.

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