Brought to you by
Bright full colour logo
Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

How to choose the right cloud server

18th Apr 2024
Brought to you by
Bright full colour logo
Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
Save content
Have you found this content useful? Use the button above to save it to your profile.

Today, more and more of our lives are moving online – from music to train tickets, physical is out and cloud is in. For accountants this has been an especially visible trend, in a literal sense.  Gone is the filing cabinet with piles of paperwork, now that the majority of documents and data are held in digital formats. This also applies to the traditional, on-premise server approach – cloud service providers can now provide acres of digital real estate with more security and convenience than owned hardware could hope to.  

In the digital first world, having the right cloud server on your side now a key part of keeping your practice running smoothly – here we explore what you need to know about cloud for accountants, and how to make the right choice for your firm. 

What is a cloud server?  

A cloud server is a type of virtual storage set in a cloud computing environment. It is built, hosted, and delivered via a cloud computing platform over the internet and can be accessed remotely. These servers offer similar functionalities to traditional physical servers but with added flexibility, scalability, and cost-efficiency.  

Being hosted online, cloud servers provide on-demand computing resources and services, such as storage and processing power, without the need for direct active management by users. They have today become an essential part of the majority of businesses across industries. By specialising in this service, providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have become the default providers of online data processing for organisations as diverse as Netflix and the NHS. 

How do cloud servers help accountants? 

When compared to physical and on-premises solutions, cloud servers offer a multitude of benefits for accounting firms: 

  • Enhanced scalability: Cloud servers adapt to your needs. Need more storage for growing clientele? Simply upgrade your plan. No need for expensive hardware upgrades. 
  • Unparalleled accessibility: Advisors can collaborate with colleagues and clients in real-time, from anywhere in the world for a more responsive, efficient workflow. 
  • Ironclad security: Cloud providers invest heavily in advanced security measures, often surpassing what in-house solutions can offer. Your data is constantly monitored and protected from evolving threats. 
  • Automatic backups: Cloud servers automatically backup your data, ensuring you never lose a single byte of crucial financial information, with redundancy servers in multiple locations to ensure your data stays secure.  
  • Reduced IT costs: Cloud servers eliminate the need for expensive hardware, software licences, and IT staff dedicated to server maintenance. Cloud servers instead offer a pay-as-you-go model, reducing upfront costs significantly. 

Choosing the right fit for your firm 

While cloud is immensely convenient and secure, it can also be a big leap to entrust your clients’ data to a third-party, so the way you choose and implement your cloud solution matters. 

  • Public cloud: The most widely used option, offering readily available, scalable resources at a cost-effective price point. Think of it as a shared workspace with robust security measures. Popular public cloud providers include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 
  • Private cloud: Think of this as your own dedicated server environment within the cloud. It offers maximum control and security, making it suitable for firms handling highly sensitive client data. However, private cloud solutions come with higher costs and require more technical expertise for management. 
  • Hybrid cloud: A blend of public and private cloud, offering a flexible solution. Store sensitive data on your private cloud while leveraging the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the public cloud. 

What to look for in your provider 

Selecting the right cloud server provider requires careful consideration over the needs of your firm and your clients, as well the resources within your team to monitor and maintain your system. Here are some key factors to guide your decision: 

  • Security: Investigate the provider's security protocols. Look for certifications like SOC 2 and industry-standard encryption methods. 
  • Compliance: Ensure the provider adheres to relevant data privacy regulations like GDPR or HIPAA, depending on your location and clientele. 
  • Scalability: Choose a provider with a proven track record of scaling resources seamlessly to meet your future growth. 
  • Integration: Verify if the cloud server integrates with your existing accounting software and applications. Seamless integration fosters a smooth workflow. 
  • Customer Support: Ensure they offer reliable and responsive customer support for any technical snags you might encounter. 

Going digital securely 

In the digital world, cloud servers are like the new offices. You work in them every day; they store your key information, and they provide the location to meet with other key services. For that reason, it’s essential to find one that feels right. Bright’s cloud products are designed specifically with accountants and their clients in mind, to help you find exactly what you need, when you need it, with full security. 

To find out more about introducing cloud solutions into your practice, visit our website.

 

Joe moore   

 

Written by Joe Moore | Bright 

 

 

 

Related articles: 

 

Tags: