Many of our accounting clients and CPAs in Vancouver are moving to the Cloud. What do I mean by this? They are having us migrate their line of business applications to the Cloud where they can access them from wherever they are. Typically, before we handle a migration for them, they have a number of questions. We posted some of them here along with the answers in case you have similar concerns about migrating the accounting platforms you use to the Cloud.

What Is A Cloud Migration? What Does It Entail?

This is when we move some or all of your data and applications into the Cloud. This is a data center we can provide or a cloud-based infrastructure provided by a cloud service provider such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

You can choose to move some of your applications, or your total organizational infrastructure where all of your computing, software, storage and platform services are transferred to the Cloud for anytime, anywhere access.

Cloud migration helps you achieve real-time and updated performance and efficiency. However, a cloud migration requires careful planning and implementation to ensure the cloud solution is compatible with your organizational requirements.

Will The Customized Apps We Use On Our Computers Work As Well In The Cloud?

Moving your customized applications to the Cloud simply means that you’re running them over the Internet rather than on your own computers or servers. Everything will work just as it does and look the same as it did when it ran from your computers or server.

But it will be better. You will be able to access your applications and your work when you’re out of the office, even from anywhere around the world as long as you have an internet connection.

How Do The Applications In The Cloud Actually Work?

Essentially, you could build an application using your own platform and deploy it into a cloud infrastructure (Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS). Or you can create your app using a particular middleware platform and deploy it to a cloud service that supports the same platform (Platform as a Service, or PaaS). If you want to use an existing cloud-based application that provides what you need, you could simply use it on a pay-as-you-go basis (Software as a Service, or SaaS).

Each of these cloud solutions has pros and cons. With an IaaS, you’ll have a lot of flexibility. But this requires a lot of work by developers. With SaaS, you’re up and running very quickly because the services already exist in the Cloud. All you have to do is sign up for them. This is why most CPAs and accounting firms use something in the middle. This is why they choose the PaaS or Platform as a Service model. We can advise on what’s best for your unique situation.

Can All Of Our Customized Accounting Apps Be Moved To The Cloud?

Yes. A litany of applications can be moved to the Cloud, including all of your line of business applications. Even your customized applications will work properly in the Cloud. And, you won’t have to sacrifice any services. You won’t have to worry about broken workstations or servers and not being without your applications and data.

Will The Apps Look and Work The Same As They Do On Our Computers?

Yes. You won’t even realize that you’re working in the Cloud. Your applications will perform the same way they did when they were on your computer or server.

We have clients who are using six different applications in the Cloud that they were using on-premises before, and they are pleased with the results. Everything will be seamless; you won’t be able to tell that you’re working in the Cloud.

Will The Migration Be Difficult?

It might not happen overnight, but we can migrate all of your applications or just some of them to the Cloud. Migrating applications and data to the Cloud isn’t a simple proposition. It should be left to IT professionals who have experience with it. This way, you’re assured that all of your data will be migrated properly and thoroughly. You won’t have to worry about losing any of your data.

Will Our Information Be Safe In The Cloud?

Cloud accounting provides better security than storing files on servers and hard drives. Your data will be encrypted and accessible only to your employees. Your network won’t be exposed to hackers and viruses.

With Mobile Device Monitoring, your employees can safely use their own phones and computers when they need to work remotely.

Plus, in the instance that something shuts your business down, an enterprise-based cloud solution allows you to recover your entire IT infrastructure quickly, applications and all. Servers, desktops, files, and applications are all stored in a secure data center. This is essential for business continuity and disaster recovery.

How Else Will We Benefit From Using The Cloud?

  • You will be able to expand your talent reach because your staff and principals will have more secure access to your clients’ financials.
  • You can reduce your costs due to less need for space in your office with the Cloud’s remote access capability. The cost to rent commercial property continues to rise. Why have to constantly expand or move because you are growing? Cloud accounting allows you to grow without incurring larger expenses on your P&L.
  • Your firm will benefit from better communication and collaboration with your clients, providing them easy and secure access to their financials.
  • Document control is much easier with the right cloud solutions. Collaboration on documents is simplified. When you store and edit documents in the Cloud, your files are stored in a central location so your staff has access to the most up-to-date version.

Plus, you can benefit from a variety of hosted cloud solutions including:

  • The Custom Application Hosting we’ve been talking about. Custom application hosting is a tailor-made support system aligned with your unique business needs.
  • Hosted Microsoft SharePoint: With SharePoint, you can create a secure and customizable online portal to promote teamwork and simplify collaboration.
  • Hosted Microsoft QuickBooks: Easy-to-use, even for new employees.
  • Hosted Microsoft Exchange: Exchange ensures the reliability and security of your emails.

Accountants and CPAs in Vancouver are having us move more and more of their line of business applications to the Cloud. Why? Because as you can see, the business case is compelling. Using the Cloud increases agility, scalability, accessibility, security and provides a competitive advantage.

Need more information about the Cloud? Check out these articles:

Does Cloud Migration Have To Be Difficult?

How Can You Save Money With The Cloud?

Secure Cloud Use For Accounting Firms In Greater Vancouver