Xtracta’s data extraction technology caters to businesses from all industries, and we offer a range of cloud hosting solutions to suit large companies and SMEs (small and medium enterprises).
Cloud computing has profoundly transformed how we live and work today. We explore how cloud development has benefited businesses worldwide, identifying what individual companies expect when adopting this technology.
Read on to learn the benefits of cloud computing for enterprises and where Xtracta fits in.
But First, What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is storing, processing, and managing data via a network of remote servers hosted on the internet. This method contrasts with traditional methods, where computer system resources were stored on personal computers or local servers and needed time-consuming active management or required on-site presence to be accessed by the user.
The three main types of cloud computing are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).
Switching to cloud computing software is highly advantageous for companies that still rely on old legacy systems.
The Growing Popularity of Cloud Computing
The rate of cloud adoption and IT spending has grown exponentially in recent years, and they are unlikely to lose momentum anytime soon. While the industry’s unprecedented growth has primarily owed to the current global pandemic, the upwards trajectory of the cloud computing market was on the rise long before 2019. Cloud computing gained popularity in the market as early as the 1990s and early 2000s as businesses understood its services and potential.
Early examples of businesses successfully embracing cloud computing include Salesforce in the 1990s for pioneering the idea of delivering software programs to end-users via the internet, and Amazon in the early 2000s for introducing web-based retail services to the market. Google Docs is another creation of the 2000s.
Around 2008, when private clouds emerged, forays into cloud computing increased, and the instances of companies using cloud providers for Software as a Service (SaaS) became more prevalent.
Since then, cloud computing software’s use within companies has grown enormously, for good reasons.
Developments to Infrastructure
The infrastructure’s fundamental nature enabled cloud computing software to achieve so much. In New Zealand, up until 2010, most companies had quite expensive and often poor internet infrastructure.
Significant changes to internet infrastructure during the late 2000s and continuing through to the current day, such as Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) and the rollout of fibre broadband, spurred the dramatic improvement of internet services. These infrastructure changes were fundamental to the cloud computing revolution because, at their core, businesses need to have good internet infrastructure to use cloud computing; otherwise, it’s like having a toaster without electricity.
Over time, more and more companies utilised greater amounts of cloud computing services, and this trend mainly grew within the SME space. Part of the reason for this is the cost of resources.
In countries like New Zealand, the country’s SMEs are small—often with five people or less. Small companies don’t generally have the resources to run sophisticated computing systems. They often just had an IT consultant who may come in every few weeks to review any technical issues, manage an on-premise server, etc. Most SMEs could never achieve and sustain access to the great software features that larger enterprises could afford.
For example, in the ERP world or accounting software, it used to be that only a single person could work with a file for their company. This limitation is one of the driving factors that instigated the success of Xero’s cloud-based accounting software platform. Cloud brought the nature of a large ERP or accounting software—previously only accessible to large companies—to SMEs. Part of the strength of this technology was that multiple users could now log in at the same time, e.g., accountants could access the data at the same time as the SME (as they are in different networks).
How Cloud Brought Equal Software Possibilities to SMEs
More and more services have moved towards cloud solutions, and many SME software solutions have seen huge growth and success. This success has encouraged even more cloud software to emerge for SMEs, from business management and HR solutions to even services like Dropbox for doing file shares. People started to move away from things like the office file servers or applications installed on their local PCs.
Businesses gained access to much better software that allowed easy collaboration from anywhere. That has been one of the hallmarks of cloud computing.
Cloud allowed smaller companies access to all this great functionality previously only accessible to large enterprises. The change was also instigated by the growing popularity of mobile devices and improved user experience, culminating in bringing much better software to smaller companies.
While these changes occurred for SMEs, larger companies followed suit, moving away from legacy systems to cloud-based software solutions. Many software vendors realised the user experience of cloud computing software was much better than their traditional software. Additionally, the benefits that small businesses gained from cloud software (which was almost as powerful and much easier to use than more extensive enterprise software) stirred the enterprise giants to move in that direction, too.
The Benefits of Xtracta for Large and Small Companies
While Xtracta angles toward larger enterprises, smaller companies that use cloud computing software can easily incorporate our technology. Previously, if SMEs wanted software like Xtracta, they would have to order licenses and install servers in their offices. This enormous project undertaking could cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to install. Consequently, only the largest organisations would consider using automated data extraction technology because the initial cost was so great.
However, with the introduction of cloud computing and the fact that Xtracta is delivered as a cloud service for most of its clients, data capture technology has become far more affordable and accessible for small businesses.
For example, when we work with a business’s software providers (e.g., a company’s ERP or accounting software provider), oftentimes for a user to access Xtracta’s data extraction technology, all they need to do is to press a button in their account software, and Xtracta is ready to go straight away.
Rather than costing a hundred thousand dollars to set up and install, Xtracta’s technology is available for either a low charge or packaged with software applications for no cost to their users. The change in the economics of Xtracta’s ability to provide services through the cloud means that businesses of all sizes can access it.
Another point to note is that because many users work on and contribute to our public cloud, we have a combined learning pool (discussed in our On-Premise/Private Cloud post). This pool means we can get much better client results as we have a lot more training data accumulated through many customers.
While the learning modules have access to this enormous volume of data to build and train extraction and classification for machine-learned (ML) models, this data is kept secure and safe. Clients only have access to their company information. From this, we can improve the accuracy and the results for everyone because they’re all contributing to this one big data set. Some other key benefits of Xtracta for companies include the following.
Traditionally with software, you must install updates on different servers, which often could include a myriad of issues that need troubleshooting. While sorting these problems, services would be offline, limiting a company’s ability to operate.
However, updates usually happen in the background with cloud computing while operations continue. How is this possible? When we deploy our software update for Xtracta, we do it for many users, and there’s no room for errors.
So much work goes into the background of the upgrades we provide. We do one upgrade that covers tens of thousands of users. Therefore, we rigorously go through all the rehearsals, staging procedures, testing procedures, and fine detail. We monitor upgrades after we deploy them as well. We have the resources to ensure every upgrade is perfect before doing it.
From the user’s perspective, they get the upgrade without any of the costs, complexities, or risks they would traditionally have when bringing someone on-site to upgrade their software.
Better Business Continuity
As a cloud computing provider, economies of scale allow us to offer business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery (DR) for our infrastructure much more easily than if individual companies had to do this. With a large technical team, we can manage and monitor DR systems in real-time and ensure these are brought online as quickly as possible should they be needed.
With Xtracta software delivered via a unified public cloud—instead of in independent deployments of the software—a lot of the economics that previously obstructed companies from having highly available systems disappears.
For example, suppose you’re a single company wanting to run a high availability version of your software. In that case, you need multiple servers, data centres, and experts to maintain the synchronisation between those services, which is very expensive.
In comparison, the cost for a company to have all these high-availability aspects through Xtracta (the multiple data centres, the failover, etc.) is significantly less because the cost spreads across the many users on the platform.
Get in touch to learn how integration with Xtracta can benefit your organisation
Are you interested in the advantages of Xtracta technology for your organisation? Big or small, we offer cloud services and hosting solutions to suit your organisation’s needs. Get in touch today, and we’ll help you identify the best OCR AI solutions for your company and industry needs. Discover the benefits of our receipt, invoice, and contract data capture software for your organisation.