Mr Newquist : Your Daily comments yesterday concerning the “Cloud” and in particular your remark “… I don’t understand all the fuss in the accounting profession about using Cloud-based computing…” were interesting.
Certainly the Cloud offers opportunity to businesses, accounting and otherwise, especially smaller or medium-sized organizations. The Cloud offers these companies a potential avenue to the latest computing technology without the necessity of investing in the IT infrastructure. But there are issues to consider before rushing into the Cloud.
The advantages are obvious – Security is usually very good, everything is almost always protected; stored on multiple servers, secured with the newest and most advanced technology insuring your data is protected and access-controlled. The data is real-time and live. No more waiting for updates to complete before having information available; data-entered-is-data-available. Data is always available if you have an internet connection, you have your data and reports. Finally, software maintenance is a thing of the past. Your Cloud/Software provider will do all the normal “care-and-feeding” of the system.
The downside? First, even though Cloud security is good, hackers can be (and often are) better. The simple act of turning off your PC at night secures your valuable information from all access in a local installation. In the Cloud, 100% access means potential security issues all the time. Next, for the application you’re running, is your Cloud/Software provider reliable. Is he going to be there tomorrow? Will he actually provide the support, access, training, and hand-holding needed? Will the software actually give you what you need? How comfortable are you and your employees using the software? No modifications are allowed so the software package may not provide exactly what you need. You may have to alter your business processes to fully utilize a Cloud application.
Moving to the Cloud isn’t a rush-into-it situation. A full assessment of needs and review of providers is required. The Cloud is not free and costs, depending on users, can be high. It is a considered decision and should not be a snap-judgment.
Four Hawks generally recommends movement to the Cloud. But with careful attention to what is needed, cost, and benefits.
Managing General Member
Four Hawks LLC
Las Vegas, NV