White fluffy animals or powerful computing machines? What we know about cloud services and how they can help you manage your business.
In modern conditions, business development is impossible without accounting automation. It is not necessary to enumerate the reasons, because everyone already understands well that automation is speed, it is convenience, it is efficiency, it is about primacy.
In this article, we talk about cloud services as a reference to modern forms of using accounting and business management programs.
The publication was prepared by UIT specialists — a company specializing in building effective accounting and management systems by automating business processes.
Modern accounting and management systems are applied software solutions that allow automating the activities of all or individual divisions at the enterprise. For example, software products of the BAS line, various CRM , ERP, WMS systems, etc.
With their help, you can automate management, accounting, tax, warehouse and other types of accounting.
Conventionally, all accounting software solutions can be divided into:
typical (universal) - ready-made configurations that can be adjusted to the general processes of any business;
industry software tools designed to solve narrow-profile problems;
separate functional modules — used to form your own configuration or IT infrastructure for automating business accounting.
The common goal is to optimize activities, increase business efficiency and profitability.
Read all about effective accounting systems for business on the UIT website.
Like any software product, accounting application solutions require hardware to store and process information. Computer computing machines are used to host automated management and accounting systems.
The server needs special conditions of accommodation — a specially ventilated room, a staff of specialists for their maintenance, etc.
Conditionally, you can divide the servers for business management automation systems into two groups:
Local equipment. Computing hardware on which specialized programs are installed to perform computing operations. The software functions locally and does not require an Internet connection. This is its advantage. Such machines can act as:
Office servers that can be used for software with a small resource capacity;
Personal computers of great power, which are actually used as servers.
Larger formats of businesses with an expanded IT infrastructure use large server machines as computing equipment and a staff of specialists for their maintenance.
Cloud power. In essence, these are the same servers, super-powerful computer machines. But they are located in specially equipped data centers, which are connected to the Internet using secure data transfer protocols. All hardware is maintained by technicians and programmers.
Such clouds have many advantages for accounting programs, compared to local servers.
Like any other software, management, accounting or other accounting systems can be stored and administered locally or on remote servers - clouds.
Actually, clouds are suitable for all participants of business processes. And this is not a loud statement.
For the financial service — optimization and cost savings for the purchase and maintenance of equipment, the salary of a full-time specialist or an outsourced programmer.
For managers, financial, commercial directors and other executives — receiving interim reports or activity results at any time of the day and from any part of the world, even if you are on a business trip or on vacation, and not at your office desk.
For "mobile" workers - sales representatives, agents and others, for whom information is important, but there is a frequent need to work on the client's territory - there is an opportunity to work directly in the database, without the need to use intermediate programs for information exchange.
For all, without exception, employees - managers, accountants, HR - the possibility of remote work from any part of the globe where there is Internet, if necessary, not even from your own device - you can connect from any PC without additional settings.
The main costs of companies that use automated accounting systems for their business are not so much related to the costs of purchasing software licenses as to the costs of purchasing, electricity, placement and maintenance of server facilities, constant maintenance of work capacity, including the payment of salaries to full-time specialists .
Usually, cloud service providers provide their services for rent. That is, for a fixed fee per month, the user receives a working accounting system with turnkey service. And this is savings on updates, support and administration.
24/7 technical support for users. You can solve current business problems anywhere and at any time.
High data processing speed. Whether your account "flys" or not is influenced not so much by the power of the server as by the speed of your Internet connection.
For small businesses, placing their accounting system on remote servers usually starts with one database. With the growth of the business, the need to expand the cloud infrastructure increases. Using the cloud, you can quickly change the amount of server capacity usage as needed. This means that you can add or subtract the size of the storage, build your own cloud environment, reduce or increase the number of users simultaneously working in the accounting program.
Quite often, it is the security of information data that holds back small business owners from migrating to the cloud. There is a misconception that hosting your customer database on an office server, computer, or even an employee flash drive (there are such cases) is safer than hosting.
But! If the server is in the office - a raider attack, power outage, errors caused by the human factor can lead to data loss. The data center of server capacities has a multi-level degree of protection against any form of machine viruses, and restricting access to the database, if necessary, is a matter of a few minutes.
We do not forget that signing a contract with a cloud service provider also guarantees information security. It is extremely unprofitable for a provider that values its reputation and business to somehow "impersonate" itself.
The technology of server duplication and backup backup allows the user not to worry about the reliability of information. Any data can be recovered quite quickly.
Read also: " Snapshots: what are they and why are they needed? »
Administration services are usually provided by cloud service providers. This is a staff of specialists who are responsible for hosting, backing up, updating, and maintaining the performance of the cloud environment.
Access to the accounting program is carried out through a remote desktop or through a Web browser. No need to download the configuration to your computer or use office power. The only condition for a quick response of cloud software is the speed of the Internet connection. In the local version, access to the system is possible provided that the main computer is working. Access to the online cloud work base is available 24/7.
If we are talking about a small business that does not need a long project implementation, you can start working in the cloud service a couple of hours after ordering and paying for the service.
The convenience of using cloud technologies lies in the fact that the capacity can be scaled by increasing the space on the server as needed, and on the contrary, it can be reduced. Permission to the information base can be limited in a matter of minutes, while it is not easy to implement with local capacities. In addition, access to some data for employees of your own company can also be disabled if necessary.
Cloud service, in most cases, is a monthly subscription fee. Therefore, the risk of unplanned costs for the company is reduced.
High-tech and powerful hardware is used in data centers, which allows storing and processing large amounts of information.
Inability to work offline
There is Internet - there is access to the working database, there is no Internet - absent. But let's be realistic, any digital application, software depends on a network connection. Therefore, whether it can be called a drawback is a rhetorical question...
The use of cloud services involves a monthly rental fee. If for some reason you have not paid for access to the software tool in the cloud, your permission to use it is suspended. But usually these processes are governed by a supply contract between you and the cloud service provider.
Ukrainian companies specializing in the implementation of business automation systems offer cloud services that are close to SaaS and IaaS technologies in terms of their capabilities — rental of accounting programs and hosting.
The first option involves the use of licensed software solutions for the company's needs for a fixed monthly fee. All the burden of maintenance, configuration updates, support, administration, backup backup falls on the shoulders of the provider of such a service.
The second option, hosting , allows you to place your own accounting system on the provider's servers. Thus, it is not a tool for business automation that is rented, but a place for its placement. The provider offering the service is responsible for everything related to the maintenance and administration of the server part.
The experience of many companies shows their effectiveness in using cloud services for business accounting, which is, in our opinion, absolutely logical. After all, it is an opportunity to move away from traditional conservative methods of conducting business, to be more flexible and mobile in conditions of high competition.
You will be able to draw conclusions about the reasonableness of the cloud-based accounting format for business, having verified its advantages from your own experience.