Digital transformation can bring multiple benefits to your business, including improved productivity, performance, and bottom line. It’s impossible to discuss digital transformation without mentioning cloud technology, which has become one of its core pillars.
If you’re wondering whether your business should go cloud-wise, you should know that, according to Cisco, cloud data centers will process 94% of workloads in 2021.
So, the question isn’t whether you should move every aspect of your business – from HR to business operations – to the cloud, but rather when and how.
Your accounting should be among the first things to migrate to the cloud, but it’s important to bear in mind these five considerations before moving your books online.
The Reasons for Moving Your Accounting to the Cloud
Before we list all the major considerations to be aware of regarding migrating to the cloud, it’s essential to say something about the reasons for such a decision.
Ease of access
The fact that you can access your records at any time, from any device, no matter where will allow you to stay in the loop and monitor everything 24/7. This convenient technology makes it possible for accountants, employees, and vendors alike to have the same real-time and regularly updated information.
Small business owners tend to worry about placing their financial records in the cloud out of security fears, but the thing is that your books are much safer when stored digitally. Namely, instead of keeping your financial records on a laptop, that could be stolen, or even worse as paper documents that can be easily destroyed or misplaced, it’s much better to save them on a properly-safeguarded server.
Moving to the cloud comes with another benefit – you’ll have access to a team of IT specialists taking care of your software and making sure that everything is running like clockwork. And that’s a perk you get simply by paying a regular fee to your service provider.
1. Find a Trustworthy Service Provider
All the benefits mentioned above apply only if you make sure that the company offering cloud services is reliable and trustworthy.
Don’t forget that you’re about to store your and your customers’ sensitive data on a remote server, meaning that you need a guarantee that there are several layers of protection.
While it’s true that your records are better off in the cloud, you should know that data stored there can be susceptible to unauthorized access, theft, malware attacks, and other types of cybercrime. But only if not properly secured.
Do your research before choosing a vendor, and make sure that the one you opt for offers end-to-end data encryption, both hardware and software firewalls, multi-factor authentication, as well as anti-virus protection.
Last but not least, an automatic backup process is a must as it allows for disaster recovery.
Don’t rely only on what a particular provider says – check customer reviews too.
2. Ensure That You Get Training
Once you move your accounting to the cloud, you and your team will have to learn how to use it properly.
And while service vendors usually offer training programs that will walk you through the software and help you get the most out of it, it’s a good idea to implement an employee chatbot that will allow your team to get acquainted with this new way of doing business at their own pace.
Given that there are various types of accounting software, you should first check how easy-to-use and intuitive it is. In case it’s too technical, your team might be reluctant to use it, so find a solution that offers a good user experience.
3. Pick the Right Deployment Model
There are three different deployment models that every cloud provider offers:
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS).
The difference between them can be boiled down to different levels of flexibility, control, and management. For example, if you choose SaaS, the most commonly used solution businesses use, you won’t have to download or install anything, as the application can be accessed through your browser. On the other hand, this option won’t give you much flexibility or control over your applications.
IaaS, for example, has a more complicated deployment and is substantially demanding in terms of resources, but it’s also very flexible and comes with a great level of control.
4. Assess Organizational Challenges
Switching to the cloud is a massive change, and no matter how good it is in the long-run, you should be aware of its impact on your organization. While the technical side of the process is instantaneous, adapting to this new model will take some time.
That’s why you should assess how ready and mature your company is before taking a leap. Be prepared to work on restructuring both your internal and external processes and operations in order to be able to readily implement necessary changes.
Given that you can migrate your accounting to the cloud immediately, it’s essential to conduct an analysis and make all the adjustments in advance.
Otherwise, you risk stumbling upon some roadblocks that can impact the efficiency of your business.
5. Get Your Team Onboard
This is a big and important decision, which means that you should talk to your team and hear their opinions and potential worries about the process of migrating to the cloud. All the stakeholders should be on the same page with you regarding this decision.
To ensure that your team will support you, it’s a good idea to find a software solution that’s similar to the one you’re already using, as well as to train your employees before implementing this new technology.
By discussing all the potential challenges openly, it will be much easier for your team and stakeholders to understand how this migration will be conducted. And they’ll be more willing to support your decision knowing that every potential issue will be handled, as well as that the entire organization will benefit from switching to the cloud.
It’s clear that migrating your accounting to the cloud holds tremendous potential for the growth of your company, but you should think about all these considerations before investing in it.