Hey, hey, you, you, get onto my cloud
Was last week’s IT Faculty Cloud Computing conference a missed opportunity, as Richard Messik claimed? Or was it an important step for the profession towards understanding web-based applications. Julian Shaw sifts through the evidence.
ICAEW IT Faculty’s inaugural Cloud Computing conference at Moorgate Place on 25 September set out to give accountants a more in depth understanding of cloud computing and the impact it may have on their practice or business. But did it succeed?
From the conversations, blogs and comments that resulted, the conference certainly made an impact. Just putting on the event drew praise from Gary Turner of Xero and feedback (PPT file download) published by the IT Faculty’s Richard Anning, Head showed an 83% satisfaction rating.
Some of the most useful points came from users themselves in a panel discussion. The three members were from businesses of varying size: John O'Nolan (Sole Trader, FreeAgent user); Rex Harrison (COO i-solutions Global NetSuite user); and Gary White (CEO, White Springs FinancialForce user). They were refreshingly candid in their answers.
Richard Messik’s argument is that more needs to be done to educate accountants about what the cloud brings rather than how it brings it. In his blog he uses the analogy of driving a car. The driver is not interested in the workings of the engine, rather the fact that it makes the car go.
Matt Holmes from Liquid Accounts took the transport metaphor in another direction. Just as railways overtook canals for moving freight, he argued that Cloud systems were a wholly new way of working.
IT Faculty conference report
Accman Pro video (follow link for more clips)
Cloud Computing Today - Google Docs presentation by Liquid Accounts founder and BASDA Cloud SIG chairman Matt Holmes
Cloud computing discussion group - what vendors thought of the event