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concept of big data and cloud computing: real cloud and technology devices illustration
The adoption of cloud computing for small and medium accounting firms is essential for many reasons. With the information highway at our fingertips, knowledge has increased and research, along with science and technology, has made it possible for many businesses to actually do more with their time and resources. The digital era has made connectivity, and other valuable mediums used by businesses, to enhance and develop them at the mental level. With the dawn of the cyber world, businesses from every industry have sought their own share in this new space which has spawned new areas of opportunity for many professionals, i.e. e-marketing, e-commerce, etc.

The Adoption of Cloud Computing

The adoption of cloud computing, not only for small and medium accounting firms but businesses and professionals from every industry, benefits from the next-generation in Information Technology. Cloud computing is the latest innovation that changes the way IT resources are provided. It combines already-existing heterogeneous technologies into one fully compatible ecosystem instead of creating new systems afresh. Cloud computing can be defined as a model for effective, convenient, sustained and on-demand provisioned network access to a shared pool of computing resources that are configurable which require little or minimal management labors or services providers assistance. 

Software as a Service, or SaaS, is the most common and refined form of adoption of cloud computing for small and medium accounting firms where both hardware and software are offered by a cloud service provider and users are permitted to access the software. The capability and energy required to maintain their own software is relieved from the users in the SaaS model, but there are limitations regarding customization of the system. There are other forms of SaaS that are commonly used: PaaS and IaaS. Infrastructure as a Service helps users with providing storage and computing resources hardware infrastructure while users utilize their own OS and software. It minimizes the need to maintain hardware but does not always lead to relieving the users from maintaining their own software. Large corporations and other institutions, such as universities, use IaaS.

Whereas, PaaS is sort of in the middle of SaaS and IaaS. In it, a platform of systems and vital toolkits are provided and users own their own compatible applications, which are deployed at convenience. PaaS is ideal for supporting those businesses who develop their own applications without providing hardware. The main principle and purpose of cloud computing is providing multiple users with centralized computer resources as services. Not being a technology or a product, the adoption of cloud computing is the arrangement of computing resources. In fact, any type of IT infrastructure that differentiates users from providers of services can be cloud computing but the concept of shared resources certainly isn’t new. Like grid computing and application service among many others. Cloud computing differentiates from grid computing by heavy virtualization. Computing resources are accessed from the internet instead of specialized interfaces.

Cloud computing has more flexibility in the way that computing resources are used by businesses. It helps set the illusion of limitless resources due to its virtue of connecting widely with a range of computing devices. Cloud service providers are able to give an infinite amount of computing resources due to the fact that all the resources in the cloud computing model are pooled and offered to users at any given time and shifting unused resources to others who need them. This helps business users match their actual demand by configuring their IT services that eradicate the need to forecast yearly resource usage and capacity addition. This is great for businesses who’s needs fluctuate a great deal or who’s demands increase and decrease irregularly.

The adoption of cloud computing also helps to invest in IT resources and infrastructure with reduced risk by using capital investment as operational expenses. IT infrastructures do not come cheap and, even though it produces significant benefits, it does not guarantee benefits to a firm. However, building upon a cloud computing model would help use it in a meaningful method. Cloud computing has no upfront costs or investment charges so it is eyed as a desirable trait. Cloud-based services are changed on usage which helps a business acquire new IT systems without bearing greater costs for licenses, software, hardware, etc. Cloud computing is more meaningful for small and medium accounting businesses who do not possess the financial capital or expertise needed to implement, configure and manage complicated IT systems.

For businesses, centralizing computing resources and cloud computing provides enhanced and improved efficiency and lesser need for maintenance so users enjoy many reliefs. Organizations and large corporations usually have their own in-house IT support that is usually inefficient. Cloud service providers combine and amalgamate computing resources which help economically unburden businesses. Furthermore, it may even aid in cost savings by eliminating expenditure incurred to manage IT systems.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Global Computer network  with cloud computing

Best Practices In Cloud Computing

Companies are increasingly using the best practices in cloud computing to internationally expand their services. Cloud computing helps businesses tap into new markets. However, the economic aspect is only one of the factors of demand. Improving performance including data speed, service up time, and enhanced security are equally essential elements.

Any business can be uniquely positioned in the cloud computing ecosystem to meet their business goals. Cloud computing enables a company to reach their fundamental needs and it helps manage the global network of any business.

For cloud services to be efficient, they need to provide consistent and reliable data networks. Speed is the essential element of cloud computing. Efficient cloud computing services require cohesive and fast data networks, especially for applications that handle large graphics and require low latency. 

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Interconnected Business

The cloud is a platform that offers remote services. These services are used to store information and run applications.  It enables the use of online services and data on demand via simple internet access. The idea is to deport the processing on an outsourced infrastructure. 

It becomes redundant to install the software locally on each user station or on each server of a company. A significant benefits of cloud computing is that all systems are online. When the systems of a business are online, they are well connected. This makes the business more productive as a whole. IT departments only need to take care of the implementation of these solutions and their administration.

Easy Accessibility and Mobility

The best practices in cloud computing allow easy access to data across an organization. Cloud computing services make it easier to improve the mobility of data. Gone are the days when data and information about clients and an entire business were stored locally. A cloud computing service allows online storage. This enables the data to be available even if a desktop computer or laptop is shut down. Cloud computing prevents data loss if servers fail, as the cloud server always has a backup. Some of the leading services that have been successful in cloud computing are:

  • Email/calendar messaging
  • Office 365
  • Google Suite
  • Zimbra ERP/CRM
  • Salesforce
  • Sage Oracle
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services

Flexibility

The best practices in cloud computing offer flexibility. The services have become very flexible and can be altered according to the business needs of a company. Having a cloud service helps businesses to change their resource allocation in the production line. The best thing about a cloud service is that you are charged only what you consume.

Another benefit of cloud computing is resource and file sharing in real time, anywhere in the world. Your business becomes agile and gains flexibility, something that was impossible before. The implementation of cloud computing requires proper infrastructure for smooth operations.  

Scalability and Update

A cloud computing service provides maintenance for all of the servers in your company. It offers regular service updates, making your business information safe, secure, and free from any cyber threats such as ransomware. It gives a chance for you and your employees to focus more efficiently on your business. Cloud computing optimizes the productivity of a company. The updates are automatic, do not cause service interruption, and regularly bring new optimizations and features.

Optimized Security

A cloud computing service provides increased protection over the traditional and internal infrastructure of a company. Keeping the cloud secure requires time, expertise, and an extensive budget. The best practices in cloud computing take care of the needed security measures. A cloud service provider provides regular updates related to essential security patches.

A wonderful benefit of cloud computing is that it ensures security because it has better safety features and services assets. Some of the security services are:

  • Data replication
  • Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)
  • Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
  • Defense from cyber attacks
  • Latest technologies in security
  • The confidentiality of the data is guaranteed

The observed security standards for data are more rigorous and stringent in the environment of your cloud service provider. Security of your business data is the first priority, as a fault or alteration of customer data would cause irreparable damage to a business. It is considered one of the best practices for cloud computing to ensure that the cloud is safe.

Cost Control

Cloud Computing allows better control of the costs related to your IT infrastructure. Your company adjusts the resources allocated to its support according to its needs by increasing or decreasing the resources available.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

 

 

Business technology concept.
Cloud accounting technology is a new player in the economic landscape.

Cloud accounting is similar to traditional accounting and bookkeeping procedures done on an accounting software. Cloud accounting software is hosted on remote servers, similar to the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Data is sent to the server into a ‘cloud’ where it is processed and sent back to the user. All application functions are done off-site, into the cloud, not on the desktop. The accounting functions are done online and not on the desktop software. The internet or another network are used for the process. Users access cloud accounting software through a cloud application service provider. The software has not be installed on a computer. It can be accessed from any place in the world, provided the cloud applications service provider is present.

Features of an accounting software must include:

  • Inventory management
  • Sales tracking
  • Contacts management and contact history tracking
  • Account to accept credit card payments
  • Generating Invoices
  • Financial statements, cash flow statements and balance sheet
  • Budget planning
  • Payrolls
  • Taxation matters

BENEFITS OF CLOUD ACCOUNTING FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Cloud accounting technology is a new player in the economic landscape. Why?  We’ve listed the reasons below.

1. Access to accounting and bookkeeping data anywhere and anytime in the world. You can spend time on other activities related to business operations or spend your quality time with family. You can go online to access cloud accounting software while sitting at home and keep yourself updated with the accounting and bookkeeping functions in your business. You always have an up to date view of the financial status of the business to make the right decisions at the right time.

2. Go paperless in accounting and bookkeeping. This step is Eco-friendly, too. Paperwork takes a lot of time for accountants and business owners. Small business owners need time to interpret accounting information. Accounting software makes it easy to interpret accounting information.

3. Cloud accounting software has multi-user access.

4. Cloud accounting software is automatically updated.

5. Cloud accounting reduces upfront business costs. You do not face regular maintenance and fees for upgrading the system.

 

A Few Cloud Accounting Software and their benefits

  1. FreshBooks

You can access FreshBooks from a desktop computer and mobile phones. It has many features used to simplify accounting processes. It makes it easy to track expenses, make online payments, generate customized invoices, generate reminders of late payments, purchase history with time-tracking, client records, and management of different projects with different rates.

30 days free subscription of FreshBooks is available for a new user.  After that, it costs $19.95 a month.

  1. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is the major bookkeeping and cloud accounting tool for small businesses and is used to handle accounting operations. QuickBooks is developed and marketed by Intuit. QuickBooks is used to:

  • Generate invoices with the logo of your company and with all details required by the customers.
  • Process payrolls according to HR policies
  • Manage all business transactions, including bills from suppliers and vendors
  • Manage Inventory
  • Track expenses
  1. Kashoo:
  • Creating professional invoices
  • Categorization of income and costs
  • Connectivity with online credit cards and bank accounts
  • Online Sharing of data with accountant
  • Reconciliation of accounts due to double entry accounting process

20 transactions per month are free.

 4. Outright:

Outright is an online cloud accounting system for small businesses and is used for tracking expenses, profit, sales, and customers. Bank accounts and other services such as PayPal, eBay, FreshBooks and web stores can be connected to Outright and data can be easily exported from one app to another.

 5.   Xero:

  • Dashboard with bank balances, expenses, and invoices
  • Customized reports required by the small business
  • Tracking cash flow in real time
  • Graphical presentation of data
  • Data can be shared and accessible to accountant and others
  • Generating customized reports and reminders to customers
  • Scheduling of Payments and returns

Apple, Blackberry, and Android applications are available. Many add-ons like CRM, invoicing, inventory management packages are also available on demand.

 

CONCLUSION

Cloud based accounting technology is changing the landscape by providing its customers the services which were not available a few years ago. One can access their company’s data from anywhere in the world by logging into the account. Small business owners must avail this technology as the costs are affordable and benefits are more abundant than ever.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Hand holding digital tablet with global network connection technology and e-learning, education concept. Element of this image are furnished by NASA
With the help of science and technology, the world has become a global village. With globalization and development in many essential industries, creative and newer ways of economics is the primary need of the time. Information technology is used to overcome many of today’s business requirements and needs that help the economics of a market. Businesses are equipped with tools that enable more productivity and effective time usage and/or management among many other blessings.  Many of today’s corporations and market leaders use critical systems that help them communicate, connect and share several aspects of their resources by the adoption of cloud computing in regards to IT service accounting.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is hard to clearly define. The broad spectrum application it is used under is generally vast and a certain perspective cannot be maintained. It is not a new concept but, still, much of it is beginning to have huge impacts on the businesses who adopt it. Cloud computing is a platform where all shared resources of a business can be utilized and serviced to users within a network. The practical implementation is evidently used in manufacturing, inventory and stock, accounting and finance, legal offices and libraries, universities and other such institutions… just to give an idea.

A more particular and generally agreed upon definition of cloud computing for IT service accounting is “a type of parallel and distributed system consisting of a collection of interconnected and virtualized computers that are dynamically provisioned and presented as one or more unified computing resources based on service-level agreements established  through negotiation  between  the  service  provider  and consumers” by Buyya R, Yeo C, Venugopal S. Market-oriented cloud computing: Vision, hype, and reality for delivering it services as computing utilities. 10th IEEE International Conference on High-Performance Computing and Communications 2008. Dalian, China.

Cloud computing uses software and hardware as a service provided to various users connected to the network. All of these users in cloud computing for IT service accounting environments are patched in through the internet. It allows the users to store data and use applications via devices situated remotely at multiple locations. All computing power is associated as resources and are bundled together and served to these users who need tools and applications to perform tasks or design integral software.

Cloud Computing for IT Service Accounting

Information technology plays a vital role in various areas of business operations such as finance and accounting. Business financial accounts are meant for public audit and are not part of the business itself. Accounting models have made financial accounting easier, where traditional applications were complex and expensive. They required a massive storage capacity, designated internet flows, specialized IT departments, among many other hassles. Upgrading such IT systems can be arduous, too. With recent developments, cloud computing has allowed accounting models achieve efficient use of the internet to ease access, customization, collaboration and drive cloud computing towards cloud accounting.

Cloud accounting, like cloud computing, has an IT service accounting approach or online accounting for professionals who use traditional accounting software which is installed on a remote resource connected via the internet. But, that remote resource is a server owned by a cloud service provider who charges users for using the software. This is done by cloud computing solutions and there is no definition defining “online accounting or cloud accounting”. It is theorized to provide functionality and advantages. Without the main need of owning or investing in costly supercomputers or an IT infrastructure, businesses can focus on other parts of their business and pay for the usage of software.

Impacts

Cloud computing solutions for IT service accounting environments reduce the amount of labor to provide and effectively address the multifaceted loads and several activities via an online system. It can automatically generate transactions and operations with accounting notes or details of a different nature. It can also review management and financial accounting of accounts participating and correlate them. Statements can be automatically generated as well as critical financial reports. A cloud accounting provider helps eradicate the need to use an in-house IT or accounting professional, thus making it a cost-effective method for many businesses. The services offered are that of a finance manager, virtually, but cloud computing is more diverse and covers many areas of implementation.

Cloud computing in regards to IT service accounting helps businesses reduce costs. No investment is required to buy equipment and there are no costs undertaken to set up an IT Infrastructure. It helps users connect no matter where their location is by providing remote connections. The internet is used by users worldwide to access platforms with tools and software to perform integral parts of their jobs without the need to carry the tools. Unlimited storage capacity is a huge benefit with the amount of big data a business can generate. Clients of cloud service providers can increase or decrease their capacity according to their requirements of cloud computing for IT service accounting which sometimes makes it more cost convenient. Its user-friendly and empowers businesses to share their information with their customers.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

 

Cloud Computing Concepts on Visual Screen
Cloud-based technologies have changed the game of the IT world almost entirely. There is no denying the fact that businesses need to constantly adapt to the changing trends in order to survive in the market for long. Data that used to be stored, transmitted, and accessed via various traditional methods such as a USB, hard drives, internal or data transmitting systems are now being accessed on the cloud. The trend of cloud computing has widely been accepted and embraced by people from all across the globe due to its numerous benefits.

Individuals and organizations are moving one step ahead of the game by employing and integrating custom cloud solutions and delivery models, as they can help employees achieve work efficiency, which further leads them to achieve a company’s strategic goals faster than anticipated. Organizations are now more willing to adapt to emerging cloud trends as setting up and upgrading in-house infrastructure and software is costly. Since individuals and organizations have varying business needs and requirements, they need to have custom cloud solutions tailored to their business specifications.

Speed and Efficiency

Undoubtedly, cloud computing has become the need of the hour and companies need to embrace the latest cloud computing trends to address their business needs with speed and efficiency. We may not have noticed that we all use cloud technology in one form or another since we are all so accustomed to using different social media apps and platforms for different purposes. Custom cloud solutions reduce capital expenditures, are easy to maintain and upgrade, and ensure business continuity for long-term success.

Data Security

Cloud computing is largely seen as an innovative technology, changing the fate of companies from across the globe. Besides keeping data stored in a repository, you can backup important data such as files, apps and more to the cloud without having to worry much about data theft. Cloud technology is spreading because it has earned the reputation of being highly stable and secure. Custom cloud solutions provide data security and safety to companies which signifies that they can recover their sensitive data, details of bank accounts, bookkeeping and other financial records, passwords and other similar things on any device, allowing them greater flexibility.

Customizability

The beauty of the cloud is that it is customizable. You can design your own custom cloud solutions that fit the needs and specifications of your business. Customizing the cloud can be an intimidating task which is why hiring an expert to do the job is recommended. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all-solution. You must constantly monitor the changing needs of your business and upgrade your cloud at regular intervals, when suited best. Customization is often perceived as an expensive task, however, it’s not! The magnificence of the cloud is that it’s a low-risk, low-cost solution that can be customized according to your own will and desire aligned with your business specifications and evolving needs. Experts provide their input in setting up the right custom cloud solution for your business which is likely to increase your working efficiency and productivity. Besides that, you will have 24/7 expert support for meeting data shortages and loss of data.

Mobility

By embracing cloud technology, you can stay connected to your business and the world from anywhere, on any device. Cloud computing is opening doors of opportunity for virtual teams to access key information on the server in their own comfort zones. Custom cloud solutions are environment-friendly and helps you to innovate and lead from the front with improved data security and compliance. Gone are the days when employees who needed to stand out from the crowd had to spend extra hours in offices for increasing their productivity. Now, they can easily increase their efficiency and productivity by working from a remote location or anywhere in the entire world.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Cloud computing concept.
Cloud computing is a technological feat of the modern era. With the evolution of the internet, many concepts like sharing resources and information flow have captivated businesses worldwide. In the pursuit to be a market leader, businesses deploy all types of cloud computing techniques that help them grow and succeed. But, is it only the business world that is growing? What about everything around it, including employees and consumers? From receiving an email to dynamic host configuration protocol servers, such technologies enhance a business in more than one way. The good news is that it’s a win-win situation for all.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing can be defined as “the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data rather than a local server or a personal computer”. Clouds are not a passing phase, but something that is destined to stay with us and develop even more. The next decade is forecasted as the decade of cloud computing which promises more innovative and newer ways to help businesses push themselves to the top with nothing but a cell phone!  It helps eradicate frequently occurring headaches like storing data manually or monitoring a business for its employee performance. Now, with cloud computing, businesses can focus on other more vital and integral elements of a business such as customer support. And, they can leave the giddy details like monitoring, information sharing, or storage of data to the electronic gizmos.

Business Growth

Business growth is an aim of every organization and anything that helps it along the way is embraced with extra passion. The thing that separates the good from the bad is the usage and functionality of a system that can be implemented in an organization. Businesses can grow and help its employees reach a better level of lifestyle and also provide to an ever-changing and evolving market. With the help of cloud computing, input and research can make a great difference.

As a business grows, it provides economic relief not just to the employees or owners, but to everyone involved including the country it is situated in. In order to get ahead of the curve, businesses need to come up with various strategies that can help them get faster, more efficient and, above all, proficient. It is these cloud systems that help a business get off its mark with ease and steadily flow at a consistent pace. It can help a business grow at a noticeable rate and also get a sensation of “digitization”.

Uses of Cloud Computing

Using cloud computing in a business has many benefits which make a deeper impact. Employees who work for a business who has adopted cloud computing are more passionate and aware of their job roles. Integrating systems that store and manage data are important for a business. For example, purchase orders are usually complete with details like address, nam,e and contact information that most organizations can utilize when promoting or marketing a new product that it’s clientele would prefer. Other things like requesting information regarding services is also an achievable outcome. 

However, cloud computing is able to do much more than just recall information. It can store, organize, break down, and even process data for any required purpose, making it a very versatile and impactful mechanism for a business who can get much more done with this technology as compared to not having it. All large organizations and major players of the business world use clouds for HR, client relationship management, accounting, IT, and more. Almost every department of larger organizations has a system to help it coordinate with other areas of the business to increase operations and output.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Customer relationship management (CRM) concept. Businessman click on virtual scheme representing CRM (or customer service). Wide banner composition with office in background."n

What is a Cloud-Based CRM System?

A cloud-based CRM is a term used to describe a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application that is hosted on a cloud-based system. A cloud-based system for a CRM is easily accessible by the internet. It’s easier for employees and companies to have access to the database at any time.  As the information is securely located in a cloud, employees and other team members can retrieve customer information anywhere on any registered device.

Decision makers running major companies have apprehensions when it comes to moving their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) from an on-site location to a secure cloud-based CRM. The management sees red flags when they think about storing their customer data in the cloud. They cower every time they hear the word “hacking into the database,” or “cyber-attack.” With frequent cyber-attacks and data breaches, company owners wonder how to secure their CRM cloud. Security is a primary concern for companies who are willing to transfer their CRM from on-site to a cloud-based system.

Cloud for your CRM must be Secure

A conventional customer relationship management system or CRM system requires a hefty and pricey software that depends on an entire IT team for the purpose of installation and maintenance of the system.

Transferring from an on-site CRM to a cloud-based service is challenging, but the benefits of the secure cloud-based CRM exceeds its disadvantages. The essential aspect of a CRM cloud is high security. Many companies offer specialized cloud services. When selecting a cloud hosting service, the company must offer a secure cloud to protect your CRM from data theft.

Cloud or On-Site CRM

Having an on-site data center for a CRM is risky compared to a secure cloud-based CRM. Maintaining a high-end IT department can be costly for businesses. Small businesses often lack the necessary resources needed for maintaining such security measures.

In comparison, a cloud-based CRM would cost a significantly lower amount due to economies of scale. This is because cloud hosting providers operate on a massive scale and cater to multiple businesses at a time, which means that they specialize in a particular segment. Due to this, they can lower their costs, making them a cost-effective solution.

Cloud hosting services provide a secure platform for a secure cloud-based CRM. These companies not only assist businesses in securing their customer data, but help provide access to your database from any geographical location. A CRM on a cloud is much better at handling large amounts of data compared to an on-site CRM.

Cloud Security

The most prominent benefit of having a CRM on a cloud is that different encryption methods secure the data. Cloud hosting companies have dedicated security experts who use modern encryption systems to keep the CRM secure.

Company data located at an on-site data center is prone to various cyber threats such as data theft. A virus is another risk to a businesses’ valuable data including confidential customer information. Cyber criminals often engage in practices where they steal important company data to sell on the black market. For competitors, such information can be valuable for sabotaging another company’s image as well as to redirect the customers to their business. In an onsite-CRM, you might not be able to disperse resources for around-the-clock vigilance.

However, in a cloud-based CRM, there are experts deployed to keep data secure and can take immediate action if any threats are detected. These experts use backups to restore the data if the system crashes due to a virus. Therefore, a secure cloud-based CRM is a better option than storing your data on-site

Companies that offer cloud services are professional IT experts; their job is to give you a secure cloud for all your CRM needs. These companies are aware of the latest threats to clouds; they will always have a solution ready when you need it.

How to Have a Secure Cloud-Based CRM

All Software as a Service (SaaS) enterprises offering secure cloud-based CRM services hire IT security experts and maintenance staff of the highest caliber. It’s in their job description to provide data security for your cloud-based CRM to avoid any data breach.

To make sure that the cloud is secure, there are several protocols concerning data and access. To secure your CRM on a cloud, the human factor involved in data breach cannot be ignored. The following factors must be considered when keeping the CRM secure:

  • Have a secure password
  • Keep changing the password every week
  • Limit and record the number of people with access to the cloud

From small firms to large multinational companies, a CRM is a crucial element of their business. Hiring a company that offers maximum security for your CRM is of vital importance. IT companies providing CRM cloud systems are aware of the risks and security breach associated with having a database on a cloud. These security breaches are taken very seriously by the experts.

Back-Up Policies and Data Recovery Plans for CRM Security

Companies providing cloud CRM security have extensive backup plans and follow strict procedures to retrieve lost data if a breach occurs. The advanced and automatized backup policies are helpful in keeping your cloud secure and safe from cyber threats. You can improve your cloud services by using different measures such as using a two-step authentication service and by using stronger passwords.


Check out America's Best Bookkeepers


About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts
 Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

Stealing personal data through a laptop concept for computer hacker, network security and electronic banking security
Cloud Computing continues to transform the way in which organizations use, store, and share data, applications, and workloads. Cloud Computing has also introduced a variety of security threats and challenges. With so much going into the cloud, public cloud servers in particular, these assets become the natural targets for violators.  

The Vice President and Cloud Security Leader at Gartner Inc, Jay Helser, states that “The volume of public cloud utilization is growing rapidly, so that inevitably leads to a greater body of sensitive stuff that is potentially at risk”.

In contrast to what many people might think, the major responsibility for protection of corporate data in the cloud does not lie within the service provider, but only with the cloud customer. According to Heiser, “We are in a cloud security transition period in which focus is shifting from the provider to the customer”. He states that “Enterprises are learning that huge amounts of time spent trying to figure out if any particular cloud service provider is ‘secure’ or not has virtually no payback.”

7 Cloud Security Threats

  1. Data Breaches

A breech in data could be the main objective of a targeted attack or it might just be a result of human error, application failure, or poor security practices. It can involve disclosing any type of information which was not intended for the general public. This includes personal information such as health, financial, personality identifiable information, property information or trade secrets. An organization’s cloud-based data might hold value to different parties for various reasons. The risk of the data being breached is not unique to that of cloud computing. However, it does consistently rank as number one when it comes to customers.

  1. Insecure interfaces and application programming interfaces (APIs)

Cloud providers have exposed a variety of software user interfaces (UIs) or APIs which customers can use to manage and interact with the cloud services. Provisioning, management, and monitoring are all performed using these interfaces. The security and availability of general cloud services are dependent on the security of the APIs. They should be designed to defend against accidental and malicious attempts to circumvent the policy.

  1. Insufficient identity, credential, and access management   

Violators impersonating as legitimate employers, operators, or designers can read, change, and sometimes even delete data. They will also try to issue the control plane along with management functions, sneak on data in transition, or even release malicious software which appears to initiate from a genuine source. As a consequence, inadequate identity, qualification, or key administration can enable illegal access to data and hypothetically catastrophic damage to establishments or end users.

  1. Account Hacking

Account hijacking or hacking is one of the oldest kinds of cloud corruption. However, cloud services have added a new threat to the landscape. If attackers gain access to a user’s credentials, they can easily eavesdrop on numerous activities and transactions taking place.  They can also manipulate data, return falsified information, and redirect the customers to illegitimate websites. The account and service instances may become the new base used by attackers. With these stolen credentials, hackers might also gain access to critical areas of cloud computing services which allows them to easily compromise the confidentiality, availability, and integrity of these services.

  1. System Vulnerabilities

System vulnerabilities can be defined as exploitable bugs in systems which the attackers can easily make use of in order to penetrate a system for data theft, taking entire control of the system and/or disrupting the service operations. Susceptibilities within the apparatuses of the operating system might put the security of all of these services, along with the data, at a significant risk. With the introduction of multi-tenancy in the cloud, schemes from various establishments have been placed close to each other along with being given access to the shared memory with resources which creates a new attack surface.

  1. Data Loss

The data which has been stored on the cloud might be lost for numerous reasons other than malicious attacks. Data could be lost due to accidental deletion by the provider of the cloud service or even because of a physical catastrophe such as a fire. This might lead to the permanent loss of data, unless the provider has taken measures to properly back the data up. 

 

  1. Denial of Service (DoS)

DoS attacks have been designed in order to prevent users of this service from being able to access the data and the applications. By compelling the targeted cloud service to ingest inordinate amounts of the finite system resources for instance processor power, network bandwidth, and disk space, the attackers might cause the system to slow down and leave all of the legitimate users without access to the services.


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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Computer network with server
Cloud computing is another name for storing data and applications remotely instead of on your own premises. Although this system of online data storage has been in use for about as long as the internet, it has gained increasingly growing popularity in recent years.

Cloud computing is easy, convenient and can potentially cut IT costs and dramatically speed up your operations. In the corporate world, it renders financial sense as it ensures businesses do not need to spend heavily on data storage or carrying out server maintenance. However, when even giant institutes and big companies are having a significantly tough enough time to keep their users’ personal information safe and secure from cyber criminals and data breaches, how could the same be safe when it is stored in ‘the cloud?’

Despite the significant rise and popularity of public cloud platforms being offered by Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services, hardly ten percent of the world’s data is presently stored in the cloud. Technology experts explore the cloud security issue as the leading reason why it is still not safe in many ways.

The Fundamentals of Cloud Computing

The key idea of cloud computing simply is that one’s data and information is stored online, easily available and accessible from any internet-ready device for you whenever you need it. It is an evident idea that immensely tempts companies seeking ways to cut their data storage costs. Eventually, an online data storage facility seems like a feasible alternative to purchasing costly servers for data storage and retaining an IT expert on hand to look after them.

Before you go for cloud computing, consider how certain disadvantages of cloud storage could affect your organization:

1. Possible Downtime

With cloud computing, your business is dependent on your internet connection’s reliability. Thus, when it is disconnected, eventually you are inactive. It is similar when your business’s bookkeeping aspects are maintained on an online software; you cannot access them when you are offline. If your company has frequent issues with its internet connectivity, then cloud computing may not be an appropriate option for your business.

2. Security Issues

Although you may find cloud platforms to be fine for your favorite music and public pictures, when a business stores the personal information of their clients on the cloud, the company could suffer a severe cyber security attack that can eventually wide out the organization as well. This is because you do not have a concrete idea where you are storing your data, thus, you do not know whether your data is secure or not. The primary level of data security is all about physically protecting the actual hardware that holds the data.

Likewise, an equally vital concern, especially for government institutes and the military, is that the employees who have access to all the data as part of their employment can also be a threat to the security of the servers themselves. As an entrepreneur, you need to determine whether the security levels that a cloud data storage company provides can offset cloud computing’s significant security disadvantages.

3. Cost

In order to assure you are saving money, you must diligently look at the details and pricing plans for each cloud application, taking into consideration future possible expansion. If your company doesn’t need the latest, updated versions of a software annually, then the desktop application can be a more affordable option in the long run. If your organization involves data migration, you must know that data transfers to the inbound cloud is free. However, outbound data transfers accompany monthly charges on a per GB basis.

4. Inflexibility

Some cloud apps’ inflexibility is another drawback of cloud computing. In fact, some cloud vendors deliberately make it difficult, expensive or even impossible for their customers to migrate from their cloud to another. Thus, do prior necessary research and ensure you are switching to the cloud that offers optimal flexibility for now and in the future.

5.   Customer Support

Although earlier cloud computing’s customer service was terrible, many vendors have improved it now. However, better customer service comes at a price. Even Google’s basic viz. silver, a support package for its cloud platforms, presently costs $150/month. If your company requires an instant response to client support concerns, then you must make sure that the cloud services vendor under consideration has several options available for necessary technical support such as email, live chat, phone, user forums, and knowledge bases.

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About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

Businessman analyzing growing 3D AR chart floating above digital tablet computer screen, showing successful increase in business profit
Cloud computing has gained prominence as one of the internet based computing models that has driven the world into actualizing greater efficiency and cost savings. Cloud computing enables the remote access of servers, storage, databases and application services over the internet to users across the globe. These web-based IT resources are available to users in a flexible and low-cost manner. In addition to this, cloud computing allows small-scale and infant businesses to use these cloud resources, saving the upfront investment cost required to build an IT structure from scratch. Moreover, deployment of applications on a global scale is now handled in a matter of a few minutes and clicks. Mentioned below are a few ways that cloud computing helps to induce economic growth.

Creation of Employment Opportunities

Cloud Computing ensures economic growth through the provision of new job opportunities. As cloud computing is employed by the smartphone services industry and aerospace sector, new pathways are opening up via construction and staffing of data centers that are required to host the cloud. Not only is additional staff being hired to operate and maintain the cloud through its data centers, but there is also an increasing need to ‘upskill’ the existing workforce. This upskilling is helping individuals to benefit from higher than average salaries. Higher salaries will directly impact the GDP per capita as the average income of the working class augments. Consequently, higher economic growth prevails in this society. In addition to this, the managerial staff that would otherwise be dealing with in-house IT resources may now concentrate on other more profitable segments of the business. Lower distraction and increased focus will eventually result in higher economic growth.

Cost Saving and Efficiency

Another one of the most eminent cloud computing factors driving economic growth is its ability to cut down costs and bring about efficient work practices. Small enterprises have been the primary beneficiaries of cloud computing in the sense that they have explored revenue opportunities through the cloud infrastructure, streamlining processes across the board, hence, gauging profitability. Cloud computing infrastructure tends to be more flexible as there is no up-front investment required for the set-up. Firms are required to pay for the server and infrastructure capacity as and when needed. These payments are in the form of commission. This allows for cost savings, as hardware installations costs are minimized. Moreover, this inculcates efficiency with no additional equipment, facility and utilities to be purchased for set-up. Cloud computing has successfully revolutionized traditional computing, enabling higher output using fewer resources – leading to economic growth in terms of efficiency.

Access to IT Infrastructure

The availability of IT resources and infrastructure is still lacking in many parts of the world, even today. Countries that have a shortage of IT professionals and the necessary IT resources can have access to these via cloud computing. This would require a reliable internet connection for accessibility. Once reliable connectivity has been established, IT resources can be used through the web, allowing for growth in even the remotest of areas. This is another way of driving economic growth into areas where IT infrastructure may be non-existent.

Increased Competition

Cloud computing has created innovative opportunities for small and medium enterprises to use the cloud technology and progress in their field of expertise. Infant industries that were initially faced with having to find start-up capital to acquire IT resources can now save on these start-up costs and innovate in production and provision of services using rigorous R&D services. Hence, risk-neutral entrepreneurs have now stepped into the leveled playing field as a result of major cost-savings through the use of cloud computing. As a result, competition has elevated, leading to lowered prices and availability of more substitute products and services for the everyday consumer.

Conclusion

Cloud computing has, therefore, brought about significant benefits that make way to higher profits, lower costs, upskilling of the workforce, the creation of new job opportunities, increased competition in the market and lower, more affordable prices. All these aim toward a better and more enhanced lifestyle within the economy, thereby fostering economic growth. 

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.