We can all agree, especially now, that costs matter. And, if we can find a way to save, there has never been a better time to do so. As it relates to software, maybe you’re just starting to consider your options. Or, maybe you’ve had server-based software for years but are wondering how much it costs you over time. Are you adding up all of the support and hardware investments required for server-based software? Are you wondering if perhaps you’re leaving money on the table? Maybe you’re thinking about the possibility of saving money by switching to the cloud.
The true cost of server software and cloud software depends on a number of factors, such as:
● The size of your practice
● The software platforms you are using or planning to use
● Your hardware – servers, desktop computers, laptops, and even tablets.
It is prudent to gather as much information as possible and to examine the numbers based on your specific needs and situation. Whether it’s served-based or cloud, each software has its own considerations and costs.
Server Software Considerations
Server-based software requires several components, including:
● The software itself, either an up-front cost or payments over time.
● Related licenses, such as Microsoft® SQL.
● A central server
● One or more workstations that require desktop computers.
● IT and networking support (because your workstations need to “talk” to the server).
● Software annual support and updates.
● Onsite and offsite backup of your practice data.
Each of these components has its own cost, either as a one-time fee or as ongoing fees that continue to add up over time. For example, if you need five workstations, which will require replacement every five years or so, and the cost of your server-based software is $6,000 upfront, you could spend $20,000 or more during your first year and $100,000 or more after ten years (cumulatively).
Cloud Software Considerations
Cloud software considerations include:
● A monthly cloud software subscription, which covers tech support, software updates, and online data backups.
● One or more workstations with the flexibility to use less expensive laptops and/or tablets as some of those workstations.
● High-speed internet service.
Each of these components also has its own cost. For example, let’s assume a monthly cost of $300 for the cloud software and $100 for high-speed internet. Let’s also assume that you need five workstations, but instead of costly desktops for each, you prefer to use laptops and tablets for four of the five stations. You might spend around $6,000 during your first year and $60,000 over a ten-year period.
Based on these two examples, that’s $40,000 in savings over ten years—a substantial amount for any veterinary practice. By breaking down each component and its associated costs, you can start to see the accumulated savings. Looking at these
numbers, if you haven’t yet analyzed your software costs, it may be a good time to start.
Aside from the upfront and annual fixed costs, additional cost savings are inherently built into the advantages of cloud software. Regular updates and tech support are included in the monthly costs, so your operating costs for upgrades, support, and wages for expert IT staff will, at a minimum, be greatly reduced and, at a maximum, be completely eliminated. Energy consumption may also decline, as well as significant time delays based on upgrades and maintenance. Similarly, innate value can be found in the increased flexibility, scalability, security, reliability, and efficiency that cloud software brings.
And as we all know, saving time is saving money.
Have more questions than answers? Visit NaVetor.com/cloud and use our cost calculator to compare your own savings annually and over 10 years.