Moving data, applications, and other facets of operation from an on-premises (or on-prem) server to a cloud-based infrastructure is known as cloud migration. In 2020, there was a 17% growth in the market size of cloud-based services. More organizations recognized the value in making the switch from on-prem servers is the reason for this growth.
Why should accounting firms join the 61% of organizations that migrated their data to the cloud in the last two years? Here are a few reasons why, along with the three main benefits of cloud migration.
Reasons Accounting Firms Should Migrate to the Cloud
When considering whether to migrate to the cloud, it’s essential to understand the necessity of this change in your data infrastructure. Servers are costly to maintain and are more vulnerable to attacks.
Accounting firms handle extremely sensitive data. Yet, maintenance costs and data security are only a few reasons for cloud migration. Some additional reasons include:
- Data storage needs: Cloud servers allow companies to get the exact amount of data storage they need depending on the scope and size of the accounting firm. No more, no less.
- Disaster mitigation: On-prem servers are vulnerable to damage should there be a fire, flooding, or severe weather event. Data on cloud servers are never at risk of being lost due to a physical disaster.
- Processes efficiencies: Remote employees’ workflows are more efficient when logging into a cloud server versus an on-prem server. Fewer steps are required for communications, collaborations, and file retrieval. Cloud migration also simplifies the client/staff onboarding process.
- Data recovery: Firms save time and money on recovery operations because it’s easier to recover data from a cloud-based backup solution than from an on-prem server.
- Task automation: Cloud-based systems enable the automation of repetitive tasks, ensure completion of automatic updates, and simplify API implementation.
3 Primary Benefits of Cloud Migration for Accounting Firms
Trending accounting technology practices include implementing IT strategies that increase profitability, streamline workflows, and simplify processes. Cloud migration is a part of that technology trend.
Tech experts report that 83% of companies use cloud-based platforms for their workloads. Why are these companies making the move?
There are several reasons why accounting firms switch to cloud migration and several advantages in doing so. These are the top three benefits driving their decisions.
1. Infrastructure Scalability
Seasonal businesses, like accounting firms, demand scalability. Tax season is a busy time for accounting firms, and this means they require the means to scale their operations during this time. Cloud migration eliminates the physical limitations of scalability.
It eases financial constraints of incorporating additional computing power and enables firms to expand or downsize resources effortlessly. Cloud migration accommodates fluctuations in data sets, applications, and markets.
On-prem data servers do not offer the scalability necessary for seasonal businesses. IT personnel cannot adjust computing power for these data centers. They require extra office space, more personnel, and additional climate control.
In contrast, cloud-based data centers do not create these challenges. Firms can make changes based on need as easily as cable subscribers can add or remove a channel from their service packages, for example.
2. Systems Accessibility
Cloud migration ensures that the entire workforce has access to essential documents, files, applications, and systems. That includes remote and hybrid workers.
Accounting firms can enhance collaboration, communication, and processes with cloud-based IT solutions. Employees have greater access to things like:
- Employee rosters
- Tax forms
- Procedure manuals
All the information necessary for staff to do their jobs is available to them on the cloud-based platform. It keeps employees on track and up to date.
Data is centralized and searchable no matter where the employee is working for the day. Furthermore, specific team members only have access to the information administrators grant them.
3. Data Security
When it comes to data centers, no server is 100% secure. However, some are more protected than others. Since cybersecurity is a priority for accounting firms, they require the most secure systems available.
Since 2014, there has been an 80% increase in data breaches of accounting firms. More than 40% of breaches have involved extortion or ransomware since 2018.
A significant reason for these breaches of accounting firms is that these businesses are not IT companies. While they know the sensitive nature of the data they hold, they often don’t understand the complexities of keeping this information secure.
Cloud migration is the first step for accounting firms to improve their data security. Another crucial step is to hire an IT firm with technology strategists who can help secure this sensitive data. It is best to work with an organization that specializes in managing the IT infrastructures of accounting firms.
What to Do Before Migrating to the Cloud
Before migrating to the cloud, accounting firms (and other organizations) must ensure these systems work with their existing infrastructure. That isn’t the only thing to consider. The following must also be evaluated:
- What preparations are necessary before migrating data and applications to the cloud?
- What are all the costs associated with making this move?
- Is there skilled personnel working for the firm who can manage the cloud-based system?
- What business needs must the cloud server meet for the company?
- Is the organization prepared for any challenges that could arise due to the migration (i.e., training, downtime, etc.)?
Making the Switch to Cloud Migration as a Long-Term IT Strategy
According to Gartner, companies have five distinct strategies to choose from when moving operations to a cloud-based data infrastructure. These include revising, rehosting, rebuilding, rearchitecting, or replacing.
At Tech Guru, we have more than 18 years of experience developing IT strategies and implementing technology. We can simplify the cloud migration process for accounting firms and CPAs.
Contact us today to schedule a call with one of our experienced technology strategists.