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Intellitec Solutions

Does putting my business’s accounting data in the cloud make sense?

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Increasingly, our clients are us asking about moving their Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics SL accounting systems and software to “the Cloud”. They are essentially coming to us and asking “does moving my accounting software and data to the cloud make sense for our company?” After many discussions with clients it is clear that the term “the cloud” means different things depending on the context of the particular situation.

In a traditional software purchase and implementation the customer will purchase the software and hardware. This model is typically referred to as an “on-premise” solution. The hardware has to be configured in their infrastructure and the software has to be installed and configured for their environment. Changes to this setup, even if unrelated to the accounting software, can create errors. In addition to supporting the environment, over time the operating software needs to be updated, hardware needs to be replaced, the accounting software needs to be upgraded, and the data needs to be secured and backed up. All these moving parts are removed when your accounting software is in the cloud.

True cloud based accounting software utilizes a structure that is commonly called Software as a Service. A “SaaS” solution is where the developer of the software provides the complete hardware infrastructure and multi-tenant software to the customer. The pricing is generally subscription based which means you pay as you go based on the functionality and user counts you need. The developer will leverage local Value Added Resellers to work with the customer to identify needs, configure the system to achieve them and provide ongoing support. Updates to the software happen on regular intervals with advanced notice of timing and new features. Extensive consulting services are not required to move to the next version, as updates are automatic. The developer provides all backup and disaster recovery functions for the customer’s data.

The other question we hear often is around security – does it make sense to have my data hosted on someone else’s servers. The historical view has been that it is better to have systems on site in an internal server room, rather than have an outsourced provider support and manage them. That trend is changing as the nature of threats has changed. Internal IT staff do not have the time or know-how in most cases to truly monitor external threats. In most cases, outsourcing that task is more secure.

Does moving your accounting systems to the cloud make sense? That depends on the specifics of your organization. To learn about the best solution, contact us at 866-504-4357 or visit our web site to discuss your situation.

By Intellitec Solutions, a Delaware and Pennsylvania based Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL Partner

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