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AIA

Get up to speed with the Cloud revolution

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17th Nov 2009
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Cloud Computing has been the big buzz of 2009 and the Cloud revolution is truly underway. But are you ready for it?

In the current economic environment, the Cloud offers attractive cost benefits, low total cost of ownership and quantifiable ROI. It promises scalability, agility and responsiveness to changing business requirements as never seen before.

To help prepare UK businesses for the opportunities that are arising, Sift Media is hosting the Business Cloud Summit on 2 December in London to examine Cloud Computing from all angles.

In-depth panel sessions, expert presentations and user case studies will focus on the whys and hows of Cloud Computing:

  •     Find out what Cloud Computing can do for your bottom line
  •     Explore the business case for Cloud Computing
  •     Assess the technology and services options with senior Cloud Computing providers
  •     Hear from those already working in The Cloud about their experiences.

Business Cloud Summit home page

Register NOW
(entry fee £395)
 

A chance for accountants to get in free
As part of the Business Cloud Summit, AccountingWEB.co.uk is hosting a forum to promote a greater understanding of the concerns of accounting practitioners in the SaaS community. We are recruiting accountants for a panel that will take questions from software vendors to debate what practitioners want from web-based applications.

In return for your help, we're offering participants free entry to the Business Cloud Summit (tickets worth £395 each). Places will be dispensed on a first come, first served basis. Members must be accountants currently working in practice. To secure your free place at this exclusive event, contact Andy North: [email protected]

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By abelljms
19th Nov 2009 16:01

What happens when the cloud is down?

The BIIIIG problem with ‘The Cloud’ is connectivity…….

Gladys/Sharon comes in abaht nine ferty, turns on the PC, and the Net is down. All she can do is chain smoke (outside) until the spotty geek guy gets it working again…..

Not for me matey, my life has enough stress already.

 

 

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By User deleted
24th Nov 2009 09:06

On the other hand ...

What happens if there is a power cut or fire or burglary etc.....

There will come a stage where Cloud reliability is equivalent to any other service providers (i.e. electricity etc) so just regard it as another provider

Surely the real issue with Cloud is trusting the provider?

In this context would you really trust the likes of Google who are currently

'harvesting' everything they can about the individual - track your every search movementscan/read every email passing through gmail to target individuals with key advertising phraseshave links to DNA processing sites (spouse of one of the founders?)ignore/circumvent personal privacy wherever possibleshow your property on a map at street level (GoogleEarth) etchave tried to hijack the whole on-line book scenario etc...

the list of their innovative aproaches to privacy is endless.

'Chinese Walls' have historically never worked, so once they obtain your Cloud data as well, you can 'kiss goodby' to any semblance of privacy because they will know absolutely everything about you and your business

In fact there is a school of thought that says any organisation with a history of questionable privacy practices should not be permitted to be a Cloud provider

 

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By raybackler
25th Nov 2009 15:38

Whooah there!

Connectivity is not the issue.  In five years I have lost connectivity for about one hour in total.  Like any business decision, selecting reliable suppliers is all about capability and trust.

Selecting a reliable broadband source and a reliable internet provider is important to ensuring good connectivity.  After that the selection of a system provider is about capability of the software and trust in their security.

Liberty Accounts, who we use, are UK based and use the same level of security as internet banking.  Only luddites would refuse to use internet banking these days.  If you use internet banking you should investigate the Cloud, because the technology and benefits are very similar.  If you don't use internet banking and are not aware of Cloud applications then you are unable to advise clients correctly on all of the available options.

Ray

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By johanPM
25th Nov 2009 21:41

It's all in the name
I remember when QlikView started ramping up their marketing a few years back they also described their software as storing data in a "cloud" as apposed to a datawarehouse and this scared people as it seemed non-physical and they only trusted data that could be seen in tables. SaaS is creating the same mystique by calling it Cloud computing and it sounds a little fluffy and insecure. Why any company would rather have all the IT hassle inhouse now that hosted applications are mature is beyond me but not long from now it will be as common as Internet banking. The companies that host these applications are far better equiped and their staff, security and disaster recovery completely beyond what inhouse IT departments can afford or justify - in other words SaaS is far more secure than inhouse systems can ever be. I do however think that it's benefits in the context of accounting practice is misplaced as it does not facilitate shared service because it only places the application in reach of the client and accountant but the client still has to the work and employ staff i.e. duplication instead of allowing the accounting practice to act as a shared service to their clients.

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By david_terrar
07th Dec 2009 08:50

Internet connection vs disk crash

Really abelljms - get real! - you think the Internet connection going down is a big risk?  Sorting out backup for a connection faliure is really easy.  Mobile broadband dongle as a backup solution, or pop to the closest Pret/Starbucks/Internet Café/hotel or pub with a wifi connection.

What happens when a disk goes down?  Have you got adequate backup?  Have you tested the backup works?  (Love your sexist Gladys/Sharon comment by the way - not)

Usually SaaS and Cloud providers have put in place the kind of backup and business continuity regime that only the largest of IT seups could afford, and then they share that cost across their community of users so every individual or small company gets the "Rolls Royce" backup service.  They'll provide a service level agreement with 99.something, heading towards 99.9% availability. Like with any supplier you do your due dilligence and talk to their customers to find out what their real record has been.  All the SaaS providers that I know of that get mentioned in and around AccountingWEB have a great record on this.

The average SME may be a lot more safe and secure using "The Cloud" and only having to worry about Internet connection backup compared to the whole of the IT infrstructure for some PCs fully loaded with software and data.

David Terrar

D2C an Twinfield

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