The decision whether to move your QuickBooks to the cloud can be a daunting one. After all, this means an entire modification in the IT department and sourcing. However, many CPAs and accounting firms are making a leap to the cloud. Cloud hosting provides the ability to do accounting from anywhere, anytime in the world and benefits the accountants in carrying various complex financial activities.
Cloud technology gives a better overview of your investments. It helps to improve collaboration with your team through multi-user accessibility feature of the cloud. Users can access the same kind of applications via the internet, increasing efficiency and thus improving cash flow.
QuickBooks online is constantly adding new features to bring it closer to the desktop version, but still, there are many reasons to stick to desktop one. If you want to give access to multiple users regardless of geographical location, or you want to access the software remotely or bring down the deployment cost, then hosting QuickBooks is probably the best solution.
Is there something that is holding you back from making a switch to the cloud?
In spite of garnering much attention in IT space, cloud technology continues to generate lot of distortion. The dependence of cloud on internet sows the doubt of insecurity among Small and Medium businesses(SMBs).
Let’s take a closer look at misconceptions in upgrading QuickBooks to the cloud and facts behind these myths.
Myth 1: I Don’t Know About This Technology
Well, the truth is that you are already using it. Online banking, sending emails, Google documents and many such services are a part of cloud technology. Although the term is new, the concept of cloud has been evolving for years. With the high-adoption rates and investment, cloud is a game-changing technology now.
Cloud, in simple terms, means storing and accessing the data over the internet instead of computer’s hard drive. It involves delivering hosted services on the internet.
Private cloud is scalable cloud environment that is built on an infrastructure dedicated exclusively to one organization and only the specified client can operate.
Hybrid cloud, on the other hand, is an environment in which an organization manages some resources in-house and others provided externally. Thus, it is an integrated service utilizing both the private and the public clouds in order to perform distinctive functions within the organization.
Gartner’s report has pointed: “Bulk of new IT spending by 2016 will be for cloud computing platforms and applications with nearly half of large enterprises having cloud deployments by the end of 2017”.
In the report, it has also been pointed out that as private cloud gives way to the hybrid cloud, 2016 will be a defining year for cloud technology and many large enterprises would have hybrid cloud deployments by 2017. This statement echoes the significance of cloud in near future.
Myth 2: There Is No Security in Cloud
Evidently, the truth is that keeping data on-premises is riskier than in the cloud. Hosting QuickBooks on the cloud is as secure as it is on any on-premise data center.
Hacking, malware, phishing and identity theft are the main concerns while moving to the cloud. They do make attractive targets for such activities, but cloud service providers tend to spend enough on security, making your data vigilant to any attack. Cloud providers invest far more heavily in security than any average business would.
Moreover, your cloud provider would give you an option to separate you from other users of the cloud, even in a shared environment.
Myth 3: I Will Lose Control over My Data
Just because you don’t have any physical equipment in your office, doesn’t mean you cannot access the data anytime you want. In fact, the truth is, with cloud hosting you have a better control over the data. Managing all the files and data through web-based control panel is much easier. You are just letting go of everyday maintenance and IT hassles, leaving you free to focus more on your business instead.
Myth 4: Cloud Is Too Expensive and Is Only For Big Businesses
This is just a myth among businesses. The actual truth is, with cloud you can increase or decrease your usage as required. You would not need to buy extra infrastructure. Simply inform your provider about the requirements and they will allocate the resources accordingly. Many times, this process is automated and the expansion takes few minutes.
Cloud gives SMBs the flexibility to scale their usage, instead of pouring the investment into up-front costs for software and other IT requirements. They would pay a predictable, flat-rate monthly fee for each user. The spending on technology – which was the main expense for SMBs – now becomes an operational expense.
“Global cloud survey: The Implementation Challenge” from KPMG (Kpmg.com/cloud) indicates that cost savings are already being achieved through cloud adoption. Seven in 10 respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the cloud environment had delivered significant efficiencies and cost savings, which in turn is creating a greater appetite and acceptance of cloud within the boardroom and wider enterprise.
IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service, is a provision model where an organization outsources the equipment used, including the storage, servers, hardware and
networking components. While the client pays on a per-use basis, the cloud service provider owns the equipment and is responsible for running, maintain it.
PaaS – Platform as a Service, a category of cloud computing that provides an environment to allow developers to build services and applications over the internet. These services are hosted in the cloud and accessed via web browser.
SaaS: Software as a Service is a distribution model in which applications are hosted by a service provider and made available to the users over the internet. This provides a significant departure from on-site software delivery model.
It has been pointed in Forrester research conducted in April 2011:
“IaaS shifts the infrastructure spending for many IT workloads from CAPEX to OPEX. Due to the higher levels of utilization and a highly standardized infrastructure management process, IaaS represents an industrialized offering that provides computing resources on an as-needed basis at a very low price.”
Capex: Cloud Expenditure (Capex) is a business expense which is incurred to create the future benefit. Expenditure on building, equipment, machinery so that their value as an asset increases, falls into this category.
Opex: Operational expenditure refers to the expenditures required for the routine functioning of business like utilities, maintenance, repair, and wages.
Forbes report below illustrates the breakdown of cloud usage, by region over the forecast period.
Parallels, a hosting and cloud service provider predicts that worldwide SMB SaaS applications market will grow to $33.8B by 2015, attaining 32% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate).
Myth 5: There Is Only One Cloud
This is another pervasive myth that ignores the true motivation for cloud technology. The myth that Public cloud is the only one cloud is making rounds among the media.
The truth, in fact, is that there are other clouds as well – private and hybrid. Cloud service providers are not putting their data into the same box. You can choose from these or you can use a combination of deployment methods, according to your business requirements.
According to the Techaisle’s research cloud computing is being viewed as a solution contributing to the business growth by 80% of US SMBs. (Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/03/prweb11693917.htm) This implies that cloud service providers can expand their marketing dialogue beyond the expenditure and also focus on means by which cloud-based solutions enable SMBs in order to expand their reach in the market.
Major cloud service providers are trying to be the best in this area. Apple, for instance, announced last year that it had achieved 100% renewable energy at all its data centers, as stated in Seattle Times.
Cloud technology has an impact on our daily lives and is still much of a source of myth among many. These myths are a result of miscommunication, assumptions, and mistruths, which are far beyond the truth. Therefore, it’s important for any enterprise considering cloud practice due diligence, rather than being persuaded by such myths.
With proper planning, the benefits of switching to the cloud can be realized.