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Cost no longer driving adoption of web-based applications

Accessibility, flexibility and collaboration seen as main benefits, according to latest research from Aqilla

The majority of finance professionals see the ability to use applications anywhere and collaboration with colleagues as the key drivers for adopting web-based services, according to research from Aqilla*.

The research, conducted at a series of events held across the country by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), highlighted that more than three quarters (76 per cent) of respondents saw flexibility as a key benefit of web-based applications, with 52 per cent impressed by the ability to share information more effectively across the whole business.

Surprisingly, less than one third of (30 per cent) considered value for money as a reason to buy, followed by ease-of-use (22 per cent), reduced complexity, speed and no maintenance bills (all with 20 per cent).

Web-based applications offer businesses of any size access to the latest technology without the need for investment in hardware or software licences, maintenance contracts or management. For a low monthly fee, users can securely access their finance systems via the internet from wherever they are, using a web browser.

All upgrades and backups are taken care of by the specialist service provider, removing the management and maintenance costs traditionally associated with software deployments, especially accounting software.

“Until now, cost has always been given as the major driver for businesses looking at web-based applications,” said Hugh Scantlebury, director at Aqilla. “However, these types of applications have a much wider range of benefits – including the flexibility to use them wherever there’s an internet connection, which means that people reduce their downtime and can work with colleagues even when they’re away from the office.”

Clive Longbottom, Service Director, Business Process Analysis, at Quocirca added, “Web-based applications are changing the way people think about software – right across the business, from the IT team up to the board – because they give companies of all sizes access to the very latest applications for fixed monthly charge, without the need for upfront investment and the headache and cost of ongoing management and maintenance.”

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