As you gear up for another tax season, you’re probably thinking about how your small-business or accounting firm tech stack can best meet your needs. You have your favorite accounting and tax software, but how do you access it? How do you store and protect your critical data? You need a managed cloud approach.
Managed cloud hosting is an infrastructure option that is on-demand, scalable and very easy to implement. For instance, managed cloud hosting does not require an on-premises server, and your firm won’t need employees to run it. You turn your IT operation over to experts who handle everything for you.
A cloud hosting partner manages your accounting and tax software, along with other critical parts of your IT infrastructure. The partner takes care of maintenance, updates, uptime and security. You benefit from performance, scalability and time and cost savings, with no need for IT resources on your part. This allows your firm or small business to focus on your core work rather than on building and maintaining an infrastructure.
So, is your firm or business a good candidate for the benefits of managed cloud hosting? Consider these three business needs:
One of the biggest benefits of a managed cloud approach is a predictable monthly cost. You gain the benefits of moving IT from a capital expenditure (CapEx) to operating expenditure (OpEx) model. The cost of purchasing and maintaining servers and desktop applications can be significant for firms and small businesses. Managed cloud provides a more attractive cost model: ongoing, flexible, and billed monthly.
However, not all cloud models are alike. For instance, with a public cloud, your bill may jump up substantially in periods of heavy use. Public cloud providers typically include ingress charges (moving data to the cloud) for free but charge for egress (moving data out of the cloud).
For example, a CPA firm during tax season might pull more past documents—think last year’s tax returns—down from the cloud over three months than during the other nine months combined, causing unanticipated spikes in the firm’s monthly bill during that timeframe.
Your best solution to avoid that issue is to find a managed hosting provider that will anticipate your average monthly usage and bill accordingly. That way, your bill is your bill, with no extra surprise charges from unanticipated data usage. For businesses struggling with spikes in data usage, managed cloud hosting can provide an attractive solution.
In many ways, the question of performance is tied to the discussion of cost. Performance impacts your firm or small business’s employee and customer experience significantly. If you use on-premises servers in your office, you won’t be well prepared to handle shifts in demand without spending more money to scale up your capacity ahead of time. And, while using public cloud resources will allow you to scale on-demand, that method could lead to unexpected and unpredictable costs.
So, you need to monitor the public cloud constantly to be sure you are balancing performance and cost. With managed cloud, however, you effectively outsource monitoring to your partner, and you can rely on both a high level of performance and easily manageable costs.
The third consideration for choosing managed cloud is perhaps the most important and most frequently overlooked by firms and small businesses. If you move to a public cloud, the cloud provider itself will have strong security measures in place. However, you will still be responsible for managing access to applications and putting into place additional security measures, such as firewalls.
Plus, moving to the public cloud doesn’t take care of securing your devices or work you are doing outside the cloud. On the other hand, a fully managed cloud model that covers multiple aspects of security is ideal. Most firms and small businesses don’t want to manage any aspect of security. They would rather spend time focusing on customers and clients.
Your business or firm should explore the benefits of managed cloud hosting. When you do, be sure to consider a managed cloud provider firm that can act as a trusted partner and understands your industry.
When you choose the right partner for managed cloud hosting, you can not only offload responsibility for infrastructure, but you also move your IT from merely operational to strategic and better in line with your business goals.
Ready to know more about a managed cloud approach? Get started here.
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