The world of computing and how we use software is changing quickly. It used to be that you would find a software vendor who could provide you with your entire suite which may include an accounting package, time-tracking, payroll, HR, client relationship management module (CRM), etc. Maybe there were even modules that were a little more industry specific. You would also purchase and have the hardware to run the software right on the premises of your business.
A practice that is becoming more and more predominant is having individual software packages created by companies that specialize in those areas. You may use an accounting package from one company, time-tracking software from another and a CRM from another and they all work together. You also have the ability to choose from several of the above from several companies and find the one that best suits your business’ needs. They also (usually) integrate with each other easily as well. As an added bonus, they are hosted in the cloud so you don’t have the overhead of having the physical hardware to support them.
I like to compare the two scenarios to a buffet. In scenario one your buffet may include a steak, baked potato and corn or a chicken breast, rice and peas. You can’t have the steak, potato and peas because that option is not there. In the second scenario, you can choose to have a steak or chicken breast or pork chop along with a baked potato or mashed potatoes or rice or pasta and with corn or peas, or any combination of those.
With cloud computing your choices are more varied, flexible and easier to suit the needs of your business. It’s a veritable buffet of software.