The advantages of invoice processing in the cloud

Every type of software now has an equivalent cloud-version that is often better in many ways. This includes financial software for invoice processing like WorkFlowWise GO-Spend. Cloud computing is one of those rare technologies that is truly disruptive.

While disruptive is an empty buzzword now, it still carried true meaning when Gartner introduced cloud computing as a disruptor on its annual hype cycle in 2008. Gartner recently reported that adoption of financial management applications in the cloud is happening faster than expected. By 2020, 36% of enterprises will use the cloud to support more than half of their transactional systems of record.[1]

Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2008

gartner-hype-cycle-2008

Cost-effective

Perhaps the most significant benefit of cloud computing is its cost-saving potential. With cloud computing, in-house server storage is not anymore required and makes the associated operational costs obsolete. Consequentially, there is no invested IT capital to worry about.

The standard cost-model for cloud applications is a monthly subscription instead of an upfront one-off fee. Employees can easily be added or subtracted from the recurring invoice. This makes cloud computing more predictable and clearer, like a cloudless day, so to speak.

Invoice processing, in particular, is faster in the cloud and lowers costs up to 59% in multiple ways:

  1. Invoices are archived digitally and never lost again;
  2. (Partly) Automated invoicing saves time on printing and postal costs;
  3. Notifications remind an employee to perform an action. This includes approving invoices while on the road;
  4. The organization can negotiate better deals because invoices are more often paid on time;
  5. Only pay for ad interim workforce for the duration of their contract.

Saving potential for invoice/bill issues (actual customer case)

billentis-e-invoicing-price-declining

Scalability

It is somewhat peculiar that cloud computing is currently more adopted by SMEs than Enterprises. The simplified IT management and maintenance capabilities that cloud computing offers make it exemplary for scaling up throughout the entire organization. Updates and necessary bug fixes all fall under SLA backed agreements and are remotely implemented by the service provider.

Traditionally, larger organizations used to implement new software department by department. Resulting in a confusing mix of systems and impractical situation. Cloud software doesn’t need a local installation. All you need is login information and a device with a web-browser. This makes the scalability of cloud software faster and easier.

The scalability advantage of invoice processing in the cloud:

  1. A fast-growing organization can face enormous difficulties paying the bills on time. This is usually not intentional, but invoices pile up and are forgotten. Invoicing in the cloud prevents this from happening due to faster processing time per individual invoice;
  2. Ad interim workforce can be given temporary access to the system and, for example, replace employees on extended leave.
  3. New functionalities in the software are remotely implemented, such as uploading an invoice into the system by simply sending an email containing the invoice. No local installation required.

Productivity & Flexibility

“Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can’t be automated is the next great performance challenge - and the stakes are high,” says McKinsey & Company in the 21st Century Organization.

Automation is one of the biggest buzzword this century. Nobody knows exactly what will be automated in our lifetimes, but it is expected that 35% of jobs are at risk of automation. This also means not everything can be automated.[2]

In 2009, Frost & Sullivan found a correlation between collaboration technology and overall performance. Some of the researched organizations realized a return of 400% on their collaborative investments, as seen in the figure below.

Workforce productivity correlation with collaboration technology

Organizations working in the cloud empower their employees with the potential to work from anywhere and on any device. Teams can now work as if they share the same room.

In the particular case of invoice processing, this means that:

  1. Invoices are stored in the cloud and accessible anywhere;
  2. Employees can upload and approve invoices, even if they’re traveling;
  3. These invoices are never lost anymore.
  4. Employees on holiday can be temporarily replaced and all their notifications will go to the replacement.

Security & Safety

Most opponents of cloud computing misapprehend the tight security and safety of cloud computing. While moving to the cloud does mean giving up some control, service providers make it their first concern that the applications are safe and secure. Additionally, with the introduction of the EU’s GDPR next year, storage and security of data in the cloud will be tighter than ever before.

The advantages of invoicing in the cloud:

  1. WorkFlowWise cloud solutions are powered by Microsoft Azure Cloud Services;
  2. Beyond the security controls in Azure, we created our own layers of protection to keep your workflows and data safe.
  3. Your data is stored in geographically separate locations.

“Cloud computing is here to stay”

“Cloud computing is here to stay”, said Wired back in 2012. And yet, an abundance of organizations is still not convinced of its capabilities five years later. Whether your organization uses the cloud is no longer an option. It is the biggest disruptor in every business today and not reaping its benefits will eventually slow growth and hurt profits.[3],[4]

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3800963

[2] http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34066941
[3] https://www.wired.com/insights/2012/03/cloud-here-to-stay/
[4] https://www.forbes.com/sites/joeharpaz/2017/08/04/why-the-cloud-is-biggest-disruptor-in-every-business-today/

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