The Future of Oil & Gas Accounting Software: Web Based?
One of the fastest growing trends in technology today is the “saas” revolution, or software as a service, and by 2012 it is expected to dominate the way people use software. I’m talking about web-based software like what you probably already use every day without thinking about it such as Amazon, TurboTax and GoToMeeting.
The business landscape is rapidly changing from desktop computers to the Internet, as more businesses need to take their work on the road or even just home.
Web based software is a type of service that makes sense to a lot of companies because there is no software to download or install and instead they just have to purchase a subscription or per user fee and login.
Companies such as Intuit are already moving their products to be web-based. Last fall, Barry Pennett, vice president of sales at Intuit, said Intuit, the company behind QuickBooks, would have a “saas” version of their products as well as a way to interact online with their “in-office” versions by August 2010, at Boomer Technology Circles All-Circle Summit. Pennett acknowledged that web-based software is where the future is headed for most software companies. He said Intuit has to offer its clients the ability to take advantage of their products where and whenever needed. Intuit already offers a QuickBooks online version and easy online payroll.
As a software company, we too have to look to the future and see what our customers need. We have to think: Where is the future of oil and gas accounting software headed? With how fast the Internet is taking off, why wouldn’t a web-based version of oil and gas accounting software also be feasible? Our thoughts exactly. That is why we are currently working on creating web-based versions of our software this year, beginning with a new Investment Manager software, intended for investors in the oil and gas industry to track their investments.
Personally, I would do everything online if I could. I love the ease with which I can take care of everything with the click of a button and in one place. Why wouldn’t you also want to run your business the same way? Here are some thoughts on why you should seriously consider using companies that offer “software as a service,” adapted from Vinny Lingham’s list.
- The obvious reason is that your software is available anytime, anywhere. With Wi-Fi locations popping up on every block and the way businesses now operate not only in an office, but in the air and on the road; it makes it so important today to not be tied down to a desktop computer with software stored on your company’s server.
- You don’t have to wrestle with installing the software. Almost everyone has probably experienced problems trying to install software on a computer with invalid registration codes, selecting the wrong preferences or even installing the software to the wrong location. How much simpler would life be without install disks and registration codes collecting dust on a shelf?
- Bugs encountered in the “saas” environment should be minimal, as the software will no longer depend on what type of computer or server you use at your office to operate seamlessly. Who doesn’t love the promise of less bugs anyways? Or no bugs, for that matter.
- Similarly to the previous reason, customers no longer have to worry about constantly upgrading their systems to work with the software. Platform issues no longer exist because it won’t matter if you use Windows XP, 2000, Vista, Windows 7 or a Mac. As long as you have a computer, Internet access and can type, you can use the software.
- With as popular as social media is today, web-based software can give companies the opportunity to integrate social networking and allow companies to chat in real time online amongst themselves or even with other users.
- Data is now safe and you can stop fearing the next computer or server crash or that you forgot to backup your data for a whole month. “Saas” takes the pressure off businesses to remember to backup their data, since it will be stored virtually with the software provider’s servers, available at any time.
With that said, software companies coming out with “software as a service” doesn’t make everything perfect. It doesn’t even mean that the web-based service will work or that clients will flock to the new opportunity.
As with any business venture, the saas revolution isn’t going anywhere unless it truly meets the client’s needs and still solves the problems they want solved. Making it work online isn’t enough. Software companies need to offer all the features needed to make businesses run smoother, while providing a simple interface that makes you forget its work. Complicated options and shoddy support and technical service negates all the good of the saas revolution.