More than half of all businesses today are still using either an in-house-developed system or manual processes to bill their customers, according to a survey by Cerillion Technologies.
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This presents a business obstacle as there is a clear shift towards on-going service relationships including subscriptions, pay-per-use and freemium pricing models which require greater billing flexibility, claims the company.
The survey polled over 200 senior IT professionals across a broad range of industry verticals, and revealed that one-off pricing models are currently used by 84% of organisations but this is set to fall to 51% in the future.
Louis Hall, CEO at Cerillion Technologies, said: “Today, we are experiencing a shift in the way consumers purchase goods and services as part of the subscription revolution.
“This is a fundamental change in the kinds of pricing models businesses are using in order to monetise service offerings and drive recurring revenue.
“This process is set to accelerate as revenue models mature and the need for innovative pricing and product packaging to differentiate and create value in customer relationships becomes more acute.”
Hall went to suggest that in-house systems are usually not agile or sophisticated enough to handle this transition while manual processes cannot scale. He pointed to enterprise cloud billing solutions as a potential solution to the new business models.
“This is an approach which can deliver flexibility and agility for businesses in mixing and matching service and usage-based pricing models, while enabling them to quickly set up and start billing for a new service without the need for any infrastructure or upfront licence fees,” he added.
The survey also paints a picture of a cloud billing market about to undergo rapid growth. It is currently relatively small in the UK, with just 4% of survey respondents using a cloud billing system or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach today.
However, a further 11% say they are using a managed service - and with cloud penetration generally on the rise - Cerillion foresees dynamic growth in the cloud billing market as businesses strive to meet the demands of the new subscription-based economy.
Cerillion has a clear stake in portraying a market in which billing systems are set to undergo a radical change. It has over 20 years expertise in enterprise billing and has recently developed a SaaS billing application for the next generation of subscription and usage-based services.”
That said, the survey revealed that, “accessibility of billing information from anywhere”, was cited by 31% as key in driving enhanced competitiveness. This is seen as particularly important in insurance, with 64% of respondents referencing it, followed closely by telecommunications at 60% and banking and finance, with 56% of respondents stating its importance.