For desktop software users, chances are there has at the least been a consideration of using a cloud hosting or managed service provider. The problem is, you or your clients may only have some misinformed or limited ideas about what they actually do.
Some users will even go so far as to avoid partnering with these service providers, simply because they were told one thing or another, or really have not performed enough research to make an informed decision about them. And who can blame them. I know for most accountants, they don’t feel they have the time to get to know all that a managed service provider can do or bring to the table.
The same goes for small business owners, who often entrust their accounting professional or someone in their company to do the digging, which often does not get done. The result is there are a myriad of misconceptions about cloud hosting companies, some of the most common of which I’d like to clear up in this article.
1. On-Premises is Safer Than the Cloud
Despite all of the data and use cases of cloud over on-premises, the fact is there are plenty of users who simply believe that data is safer on their servers or even a local provider than it is with a cloud hosting or managed service provider. Certainly, there are noteworthy incidents of cloud data breaches, but while they often strike fear and concern, they are, in fact, fewer and far between than the regular hacks and incidents of malware and ransomware attacks that occur on desktop devices and in-house servers.
“Many customers think in-house security is better than the cloud. But the reality is cloud security has come a long way. Major cloud service providers have recently improved their security. From endpoint protection and malware blocking to creating ransomware-protected backups, their advanced security mechanisms offer more security than local solutions,” according to Dr. Sangeeta Chhabra, Director, Ace Cloud. “The real issue isn’t just cloud security itself but how customers enhance it. Businesses can find cloud environments even safer than on-premises solutions by choosing the right policies, a reliable CSP, and the proper talent.”
2. It Will Cost Too Much
We get it. You are already paying software licenses and subscription fees for all of the software and applications you use, adding more for managed services will be out of your budget, right? Not so fast. If you do your research, you will actually find that the cost of accessing all of your applications in one place as well as what you actually save on IT expenses, not to mention a higher level of security than you could ever have on your own, is quite affordable.
There are also a variety of plans at cloud hosting services that could easily work within your budget, so you can get the ease of use and high level of data protection your firm (and your clients) require without breaking the bank.
3. Won’t Have Everything in One Place
These days, running a successful and efficient accounting firm often requires using a variety of software and services within your practice and for the work you do for your clients. As such, you’re likely using a mix of on-premises and cloud-based applications.
The perception is that you won’t be able to use them all within a managed service environment. Once again, this is not true. Conducting just a bit of research into managed service providers and you will see some are actually set up, so that you can indeed go to one place for all of your needs.
For example, a company like Ace Cloud provides a streamlined cloud environment, enabling seamless integration of accounting software like QuickBooks with other apps and services. This unified platform allows CPAs and accountants to manage their practices efficiently from one central location, reducing the need to juggle multiple systems. This consolidation not only saves costs but also enhances team and client collaboration, simplifying operations and improving overall productivity.
Despite how long cloud hosting has existed, there are still many questions and complete misconceptions about them. While not all may have been addressed here, the main point is that firms are not apt to change how they work easily. They want to use what they like and what services their clients best, which comes with its own set of challenges ranging from ease of use to security. All of which does come at a cost, but perhaps not as much as you think. Take the time to dig into the managed services available on the market today and see what works best for you, they may just surprise you about what you don’t know.