Accountancy firms warned to approach migration into the ‘Cloud’ with care

Accountancy firms warned to approach migration into the ‘Cloud’ with care………….

There are many factors to be considered before accountancy companies make a full migration into Cloud Computing warns Gary David Smith – the co-founder of Prism Total IT Solutions.

“The accountancy sector is currently undergoing a large scale transition from locally stored IT data into the virtual cloud format,” explained Mr Smith – whose company supplies managed IT support services to over 1000 SME’s nationwide.

“There are so many considerations to make for any SME embarking on this journey yet most Cloud Providers seem more fixated on the ‘land grab’ opportunity in front of them and not their individual client’s needs,” he said.

Mr Smith went on to explain that many of the new enquiries Prism has been receiving are from companies wanting to migrate multi-site businesses into the virtual ‘Cloud’ environment.

“The problem is that they haven’t even got the IT basics right in a local environment. I can’t possibly advise them to mirror what’s been done badly into a virtual environment,” said Mr Smith.

A problem encountered by many accountancy firms wishing to migrate into the cloud is that they won’t have an IT manager or systems controller in place and some end users may be reluctant to change from software they are familiar with.

“It has to be considered that end users are programmed as much as the systems they operate and many choose to use an old version of an application because that is what they know,” said Mr Smith.

“A standardised environment is obviously good for the Managed Service Provider and the client but not all end users will be happy if they think they are losing control. The situation needs managing carefully before migrating into the Cloud.”

The Cloud model works best for accountants operating Merger and Acquisition strategies because they can easily standardise the environments and control their end users very quickly and economically.

“For many accountants the monthly subscription model of cloud and managed services provider (MSP) make it easy to add and contract end user numbers and remove some if not most of the capital expenditure associated with traditional environments. But the essential factor is that this will only work if what is in place to start with is fit for purpose,” said Gary David Smith.