Businesses offering cloud computing software solutions to small firms are using the model as a excuse for hiking up prices, an entrepreneur has claimed.
Quentin Pain, founder of on-premise accounting software company Accountz, said monthly charges for products in what is known as the 'Cloud', which can be accessed via the internet, are "alarming".
"Small business owners hate recurring charges; they'd much rather pay once for software and have the option to use it forever," he said. "Frankly, I cannot understand why vendors who were charging a £200 for permanent use of their desktop software can justify charging £15-20 a month. Over a decade, what looks like a cheap option easily ends up costing £2,000. Cloud computing is great for software-company shareholders, but a real rip off for their customers."
Pain added that much of the discussion around the benefits of cloud computing is "hype" and many small business owners don't want to manage their accounts in the same way as they check their email while on the move via a mobile device.
"Bookkeeping is something they'd really rather not be doing and they need cheque books, folders of receipts, credit-card statements and red-ink paid stamps laid out in front of them," he commented.
"And those who do want to send an invoice out while on the move can do it more quickly and reliably with software installed on their laptops than with Cloud services that require 100% permanent internet connections."
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