By Max Clarke

Technology is evolving rapidly and now that software and numerous applications can be delivered over the internet in a matter of seconds, while music and films can also be easily downloaded, discs are becoming redundant; according to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) pioneer, Duane Jackson.

Duane, CEO of KashFlow Software Ltd, says recent hardware launches prove that the demise of the disc is well underway — Apple have no DVD drive in the MacBook Air or the Mac Mini and the word is that Microsoft are developing a disc free Xbox console.

“Just like the floppy disc that reigned supreme for data storage in the 1980s and 90s, CDs and DVDs have had their day,” says Duane, who developed KashFlow as a web-based cloud computing package that has proved immensely popular with small and medium sized businesses.

He said not many people would mourn the end of CD software cluttering up desks and shelves, chewing up power as the discs spin noisily in their drives. “Disc drives are notoriously subject to breaking down with mechanical problems, and of course discs themselves get scratched and damaged,” said Duane, who says users are eagerly embracing the idea of tapping in to online software resources instead of dealing with physical discs.

“If you have your software and data stored online, it is also of course easier to access it anywhere and anytime — all you need is your laptop or iPad and an internet connection, no discs, USB or external hard drive.”

Besides convenience, the other great advantage of being “disc-free” according to Duane comes in the form of cost-saving. Traditional CD software usually requires large capital outlay. Software-as-a-service packages such as KashFlow, however, can be utilised online for a small monthly subscription.

It isn’t only software that is transcending the era of the disc. Digital download sites for music, games and movies are proliferating on the web, giving users access to huge libraries of entertainment with just a few clicks, without the hassle of obtaining a CD or DVD.

He said he designed KashFlow with the express purpose of assisting small business owner-managers with no accounting experience. In a short time he has cornered 70% of the British market for online accountancy packages, and is on course to record a multi-million Pound turnover this year.

“The disappearance of discs marks the end of an era, but it’s just the beginning of opening up a whole new frontier in cloud computing,” says Duane.