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Accountancy firms lag behind in Cloud market


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Reconciling bank statements, filing tax returns, issuing financial statements and routine asset management procedures – all of these tasks generate information that needs to be stored securely; accountants deal with a lot of data. And possessing an awareness of this, I was surprised by the results of a recent study into the adoption of Cloud-based solutions by accountancy firms. Surveying over 1300 accountants, it found that just 11% are currently using Cloud-based services in their day-to-day workings, with a meagre 23% planning to incorporate Cloud strategies over the next 12 months.

When I read these findings, I assumed that the culprit of the delay would be the ‘security concerns’ cited by many CIOs; the protection that a good, private Cloud offers is not immediately obvious to many. Surprisingly, however, the stats tell a different story: 44% of respondents pointed to availability as their main concern, with a further 34% citing issues of broadband speed. To read a Cloud survey where perceptions of security are not the primary concern makes a change, but that nearly half of accountants perceive broadband connectivity and availability as an unsolvable problem is just as troubling.

It is important to make the distinction between business and consumer-grade connectivity. Good managed service providers can offer highly available, low contention ‘business-grade’ internet access, with connection options varying from basic ADSL lines to leased lines and Ethernet, and solutions offering resilience and a high throughput, backed by robust SLAs. With this connectivity, accountants can then confidently run business-critical apps, that need 24/7/365 availability, from enterprise-grade Cloud platforms, improving their business continuity plans as standard and, given the efficiency they afford, look to reduce IT spend as a result.

If availability and quality of connectivity to Cloud platforms is a concern, my advice would be to speak to a reputable provider and see what options are available. With a little research, and a number of carefully thought out choices, overcoming poor broadband availability can be easily accomplished. And if you’re struggling to launch your business network journey, our top 10 questions to ask a network provider are a pretty good starting point.



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