CPA Practice Advisor

OCT 2017

Today's Technology for Tomorrow's Firm.

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OCTOBER 2017 ■ 7 By Mary Girsch-Bock HOSTING PROVIDERS: REVIEW As software companies began to change from CD installation to a simpler product download, the issue lessened but still didn't disap- pear. After all, I was still using my hardware to install the software. A s deploy ment met hods continued to change, I found that accessing the software online using Software as a Service (SaaS) for accessibility made reviewing software a much easier process, as I could access the product at any time, as long as I had Internet connectivity. Today, business owners and employees use a variety of methods to access software, including iOS and Android smartphones. IT staff has been pared down or eliminated as the need to install and maintain multiple software products on a local desktop or application server has slowly begun to disappear. Of course, the option to install and maintain software on local servers still exists, and many busi- ness owners have faithfully stuck to this model, not comfortable with having confidential documents stored on the cloud, rather than in their office. But with state of the art security, solid product support options, and the ability to eliminate the tedious process of installing and configur- ing software, even small business owners are turning to application hosting as a viable solution for their software needs. There are tremendous benefits of employing an application hosting provider, including the following: ■ Reduced expenses. A significant reduction in hardware and related IT expenses. Chances are that your current IT people can be much more effectively deployed in your office. As a bonus, the amount of money sp ent on hardware peripherals will drop tremendously as the need for powerful machines with powerful price tags attached disappears. ■ Instant g rat if icat ion. Imag ine having immediate access to your applications, rather than spending time installing and configuring the product. ■ Convenient access. I still work with businesses and organizations that do not offer remote access to their applications. While this may not be an issue for some smaller busi- nesses, even the smallest business may need to access its files from a location other than its office. This issue is immediately eliminated with application hosting. ■ Reliability. For those who need to have access to their software at all times, application hosting can offer the per fect solut ion. Most application hosting software vendors offer a guaranteed uptime for their product to ensure that the product is accessible at all times. ■ Your data is secure. Data is guar - anteed secure, using bank-level security and encryption to ensure that data is safe whether in transit or simply residing on the server. Hosting Providers WHEN I BEGAN reviewing software products many years ago, the majority of products I received for review were sent to my home in the form of a CD. One of the earliest issues I remember dealing with was the inadequacy of my hardware when attempting to install the software on my computer. HIGH UPTIME GUARANTEE SECURITY OPTIONS MULTIPLE DATA CENTERS MOBILE CAPABILITY MULITPLE APPLICATIONS HOSTED HOSTS CPA/ACCOUNTING APPLICATIONS SUPPORTS MULTIPLE SYSTEM USERS ADDITIONAL SERVICES OFFERED SUPPORT OPTIONS ABACUS PRIVATE CLOUD X X X X X X X X X CETROM X X X X X X X X X CLOUDNINE REALTIME * X X X X X X X X CLOUDVARA X X X X X X X INSYNQ X X X X X X X X X RIGHT NETWORKS X X X X X X X X X XCENTRIC X X X X X X X X *NOT SPECIFIED

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