CPA Practice Advisor

OCT 2018

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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22 OCTOBER 2018 ■ Cloud Computing 2018 ADVERTORIAL 3 Questions to Ask When Deciding Which 'Cloud' is Right for Your Firm There are a number of different types of clouds, but the three most common for accounting firms include Public, Private and Hybrid solutions. All cloud deployment models offer benefits, so you’ll need to determine which cloud matches the needs of your firm best. First, let’s evaluate the different types of clouds. • Public: A public cloud is a standard cloud computing model in which a service provider makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the internet. Public cloud services typically allow a large number of users from many different firms to share the same infrastructure. • Private: A private cloud is a type of cloud computing that delivers the cloud advantages including scalability and self-service, but through a proprietary architecture. A private cloud is dedicated to a single organization. • Hybrid: A hybrid cloud environment uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud and public cloud services with orchestration between two platforms. In order to help you determine which cloud is right for your firm, here is a list of questions your firm can ask itself as you migrate to the cloud: 1. How many offices do we have? – Maybe your firm has just one office – That’s OK! Or, maybe your firm is ready to expand into multiple locations – Go you! One thing is certain, however, in order to meet IT Disaster Recovery requirements for Payment Care Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), it’s imperative to store back-ups in a secure, preferably off-site, location. On the contrary, your firm may want to downsize and remove all IT from in-house, potentially limiting the number of offices, or floors, your firm has. In either case, a private cloud or hybrid cloud may be best for your firm in this situation. 2. How old is our server infrastructure? – “As the workload on servers continue to increase, replacing ageing hardware becomes a commercial imperative,” David Howell wrote in a Tech Radar article. “IT managers can expect servers that are more than five years-old to have about a third more downtime than new hardware.” Outdated infrastructure can cost your firm several days of downtime each year, which is why Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) have become increasingly more popular amongst firms of all sizes. On the other hand, upgrading and purchasing new server infrastructure every five years can be a burden on your wallet. A private cloud or a hybrid cloud could save your firm from having to spend thousands of dollars on new infrastructure and several days a year from dreaded downtime. 3. Do employees work outside of the office? – According to the Latest Telecommuting Statistics, regular work-at-home has grown by 115 percent since 2005 and 3.7 million employees now work from home at least half the time. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offers serious benefits to a mobile attorney or accountant. A public, private or hybrid cloud are all solid candidates for working remotely. To learn more about which cloud is right for you, visit  Alessandra Lezama Building technology companies is in Alessandra's DNA, as she has led transformational changes as CEO of three previous companies. Since joining Abacus in 2013, she has propelled the business from a $5 million on-prem legal case management software offering to the fully integrated technology suite it is today. Alessandra has driven the company through this transformative shift at an industry­-focused pace, taking advantage of the company's 30-plus years of experience and evolving its products into a mature, robust portfolio.

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