On a recent business trip to the Gold Coast, I was reminded of just how much time using cloud based software really does save me. Ok, ok, I did do some outlet shopping while I was there ;)

In addition to our Xero add-on Wink Reports we also do some off the cuff software consulting and development. I was there to consult on an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software package with a large, locally based residential building company. While there’s some great products like Xero and TidyBuild available for small to medium sized builders, enterprise level businesses really need the ERP style packages (warts and all) to satisfy their requirements. There are some cloud based ERP’s available such as NetSuite but given the significant investment an ERP requires, changing products is no light undertaking, even after years of use.

I was with the Operations Manager of our client at their satellite storage location, about a 20-30 minute drive from the head office. The internal IT department do not make remote access available from the on-premise IT infrastructure at the head office, so when we needed to access a supplier’s contact information after hours to notify them of a delivery date change of materials to site, we had to drive back to the head office just to get it.

On the drive back I drafted an invoice, approved some expense claims and reconciled some bank transactions in the Xero app on my phone. 20-30 minutes spent billing the client saved me 20-30 minutes in admin time. Cloud 1, on-premise 0.