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7 Reasons Why Cloud Hosting Services are Important for Your Business

by Christophe Réglat | Jul 12, 2019
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In September 2017, Deloitte was the target of a cyberattack that accessed data from a cloud-based email platform. Because of the company’s information security strategy—a cohesive program of services and tools to protect its data and reduce the risk of data loss—only a very few clients were impacted and there was no disruption to Deloitte’s ability to continue business operations.

You don’t have to be a multinational accounting organization like Deloitte to be vulnerable to cybercrime. In fact, the cybersecurity company Symantec found that 43 percent of such attacks worldwide targeted small businesses with less than 250 employees. Even more concerning, the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60 percent of small companies were unable to sustain their business over six months following a cyberattack.

It’s no wonder, then, that 93 percent of organizations are now using cloud services in some form and 80 percent expect their IT budget to be cloud-based within an average of 15 months.

Cloud hosting services are an alternative to on-site data centers and IT infrastructures, and hosted by a third-party or external provider. These managed hosting service providers—also referred to as Cloud providers—can offer partially hosted solutions for specific applications (like Thomson Reuters) or fully managed solutions.

Fully managed cloud hosting service providers offer many advantages to businesses of all sizes.

Security

The reality of computer viruses is frightening. An estimated 57 percent of all computers have some form of virus with 74,000 new viruses being generated every day.

Secure cloud hosting of your firm's software programs and data files greatly minimizes the threat of cybercrime. In addition, some cloud hosting providers also offer a secure portal for clients to connect and share information with your firm.

Compliancy

Using a cloud hosting service can eliminate the complexities involved in adhering to government and industry regulations. Accounting firms will want a cloud hosting provider that not only supports Service Organization Controls (SOC 1 and SOC 2), but also understands the details and demands of other regulatory compliances relevant to the financial industry, including the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, Sarbanes Oxley Act, Bank Secrecy Act and Payment Card Industry Data Security.

Business Continuity

Business disruptions come in many forms, from wild fires and other natural disasters, to cyber-crimes. The impact of data loss or corruption can be costly and significant.

Florida CPA Dan Henn learned the value of cloud hosting services when Hurricane Irma made landfall last year as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds. His firm in coastal Brevard County had recently implemented a fully hosted IT infrastructure plan that secured his network data and made it easily accessible. When the firm lost power for five days right before his clients had third quarter tax filings due on Sept. 15, Dan and his staff were able to work remotely from their homes and other locations that did not lose power.

Mobility

We live in a mobile world that has transformed the way people do business. Mobility can enhance productivity, communication and workforce flexibility.

Cloud solutions provide an in-office desktop experience – including software, apps, files and permissions – that allow CPAs to securely perform remote accounting and tax services from any device that connects to the Internet.

Cost and Efficiency

Maintaining an onsite server can divert both money and human resources away from other parts of a business that produce revenue growth.

Cloud hosting reduces IT costs by curbing the demands of maintaining an IT infrastructure and eliminating the significant capital expenses for hardware upgrades.

Scalability

An accounting firm’s workforce and IT requirements often fluctuate in size and seasons. A cloud hosting service offers network scalability that can be tailored to a business’s changing requirements. IT resources (hardware and software) and network users can be added or removed from the network without wasted investment or time to scale. Ease of Implementation With the right provider, the transition from your current infrastructure to a fully managed cloud hosting service should be efficient and seamless. You’ll want a provider who can build your new system to replicate your current one as closely as possible. When your firm moves to the new system, workflow disruption and your staff’s learning curve should be as minimal as possible.

Conclusion

Cloud hosting services provide a secure, reliable and remote connection to your IT infrastructure and data. Optimally, you want a company that provides:

  • Fully managed data hosting, meaning data plus applications, environment, emails and security.
  • A single (not co-located) protected infrastructure. There is peace of mind that comes with knowing that damage to your company’s office, or other disruptions, will not impact the ability to access your protected data or your employees’ ability to do their jobs.
  • Data access without limitations, other than an Internet connection. Employees can log in— often through a web portal or downloadable application—and access all of your company’s environment from anywhere in the world.

“Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud” recently surveyed industry influencers who predict that 83 percent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020.

These seven features of cloud hosting services are a good starting point for any business considering how to plan their resources and business strategies for migrating to a cloud-based IT infrastructure.

Christophe ReglatChristophe Réglat is president and CEO of Coaxis Hosting, Inc., providing enterprise cloud-hosting services to financial, healthcare, criminal justice, legal and other mission-critical business entities since 2002. Together with Tech Advisors, a firm owned by CPAs that delivers the unique experience of working with technicians who specialize in the accounting field, they are TA Cloud Powered by Coaxis, a partner of the WSCPA. TA Cloud Powered by Coaxis provides secure, compliant and reliable managed data hosting and cloud services for the financial marketplace. To learn more, visit www.tacloudsolutions.com/services/cloud or call 508-356-5565.

Reprinted with permission of Florida Institute of CPAs, Florida CPA Today magazine.

This article appeared in the summer 2019 issue of the WashingtonCPA Magazine. Read more here.

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