Moving to the cloud can be daunting particularly when you are a non-IT person and the cloud is a new concept to you. However, before you get cold feet, make sure you understand what the "cloud" is and have an open-mind on how it can help your business thrive in today's digitised world.
So, what is the "cloud" or cloud computing? Cloud computing consists of shared computing resources accessible via the internet that enable users and enterprises to store and process their data using third-party data centres. Sharing storage and computing power in this way is more convenient as it becomes available anytime, anywhere.
Here are the tips to make your cloud migration seamless:
- First, ask yourself, "Is my business ready?" Although it may sound easy, cloud migration takes a little bit of planning and preparation. Understand your organisation's capability around IT system requirements including internet connection and computer specifications. Another thing to understand is that cloud computing does have a cost including acquiring the technology and maintaining the application to training your entire staff. Do you have the resources to support it? Make sure your business is prepared for all these considerations.
- Choose the right partner. It is not enough that you have the resources, engage with a partner who can guide you through the whole process from setting up to implementing the technology in your organisation. Choose a partner that understands your company needs and goals and has a clear strategy to help you maximise the cloud to your advantage. At Paul Martin Chartered Accountant Ltd we have collaborated with Xero, a cloud accounting software system designed for small to medium sized businesses. Since Xero runs in the cloud, our clients see real-time financial information about their business, as do we. With Xero, we help them manage their business finances efficiently starting with the conversion process from their current system to Xero accounting in the cloud.
- Determine a business processes that will work perfectly with cloud computing. Your old business processes may work just fine or you may need to make adjustments, but either way, make sure to align them with your new system. The success of your transition also depends on how organised your business processes are.
- Understand how secure your data will be on your provider's cloud system. Ask them how they secure and protect your data while it is being used and when it is not. Also, confirm that no one has access to your data unless you grant that access.
- Test the new application. Make sure that all aspects of the application and all the integrated management tools are working as expected after the migration is completed. Also, verify the data to make sure everything has been successfully transferred. For example, when moving from a manual accounting system or desktop accounting program to a cloud accounting solution, verify that all the financial data from your manual books and ledgers match the ones you have stored in your new cloud accounting system.
Are you ready to explore your potential with cloud computing? If you have any queries or would like to discuss any other items relating to cloud computing please don't hesitate to contact us on (09) 576 4166 or request an appointment online.