Welcome Reality Deflates the Myths About Cloud Computing
Cloud accounting software has risen steadily in popularity, despite the various myths that persist about its security, reliability, migration, data retrieval and more. Just like many Internet rumors that we run across each day, so much of this word-of-mouth information is flat wrong. The very reason that respected online accounting programs such as ZarMoney continue to flourish is because the cloud has proven to be efficient, dependable and resilient.
So let’s take a quick look at some of the more common misconceptions, and dig a bit deeper to find out the real truth.
Myth 1 – The Cloud Is Not Secure
People point to serious data breaches that happen in today’s world, impacting celebrities, major corporations and large retailers. Businesses have lost billions of dollars through computer viruses and other hacker mischief. But the cloud utilizes extremely tight security measures, similar to what large banks employ. You can expect to find barriers such as controlled access with three-part authentication, required password changes at specified intervals and rigid session management with log-in timeouts. Data is encrypted between your browser and the application, not only as it travels to the primary data center, but also to each executed backup.
But that’s not all. Features such as biometric access control, hardened networks and firewalls, and automated security scanning make sure that your platform is guarded around the clock. Because of its centralized nature, cloud computing has fewer points of vulnerability, versus a more distributed on-premise setup.
Naysayers will tell you that, even if the cloud is secure, anyone can access financial data if it’s stored there. This is just not true. If you live in a condominium community with others, does that mean your neighbors can walk in and eat your food or watch your TV while you’re gone? Of course not. With the cloud, you can easily designate access to “company personnel only” or even limit access to specific individuals of your choosing within your organization. You can even specify the “how’s” and “what’s,” such as stipulating that a certain staff member can modify data, but can’t view the financials. In other words, you’re in full control.
Myth 2 – The Cloud Is Less Dependable
Detractors will say that cloud providers can’t guarantee the uptime, and they point to certain infamous outages for high profile companies. But the fact is these minor outages are rare, over-hyped and under-researched. When an outage does occur in the cloud with some public company, it is big news. When a breakdown happens with an on-premise system, it is usually shrouded in secrecy, known only within an organization’s internal operation.
Here’s a number that not everyone talks about: The average uptime for cloud software is approximately 99.98%. That could hardly be considered much of a risk. In reality, the present cloud infrastructure is probably about 10 times more redundant than on-premise systems. This should give cloud users a tremendous amount of confidence. And there’s something else. Certain studies have shown that, in unusual instances when an outage does occur, cloud providers have proven more efficient at getting back online than companies that host their own servers.
Myth 3 – Data Migration is Difficult
In the past, various people and companies have experienced delays and headaches transferring data between servers, setting up new software on-premise or upgrading certain programs. They worry that a cloud setting could be even more problematic. This is an unfounded worry, however.
Many different apps and services are available that make the transfer of files from one cloud server to another virtually seamless, without requiring local computer resources or bandwidth. ZarMoney simplifies that task as well, with an upload feature that makes migration a simple, quick procedure. It doesn’t take long to realize that cloud management can be a relatively easy task.
Myth 4 – I Don’t Own My Data
This is a claim that many people believe, with no real facts to back it up. The reality is that, yes, you do own your data, and you can back up the information onsite, in addition to the locations where ZarMoney or other cloud providers secure your data, with multiple layers of redundancy.
If you have personal horror stories about problems retrieving data, or being charged extravagant amounts of money to do so, then it’s time to change your provider. In a well-operating, competently managed cloud setting, data ownership and retrieval are never compromised.
Myth 5 – The Cost Is More Expensive
Here again, the rumors about surprisingly exorbitant bills have more bark than bite. With a multi-tenant cloud solution, you know your exact price under the terms of your agreement. Quite simply, that’s the amount you pay. Users can be added or removed, changing your set price, but there are no surprises in this efficient scalable format.
Cloud computing provides a number of price advantages, when compared to on-premise solutions. For instance, there are no server electrical bills or high insurance costs. What’s more, server “five-year rules” don’t apply, meaning you don’t have to worry about upgrading your server in a certain amount of years. You also avoid the cost of a physical installation and the deployment of servers, while benefiting from greater IT department efficiency.
Clearly, the business world is moving to the cloud in ever-greater numbers. Smart entrepreneurs see all the advantages of vast data storage with solid security, minus all the maintenance, incidental costs and waste of staff resources associated with distributed on-premise solutions. If you’ve been ambivalent or even hesitant about cloud computing, due to the myths floating around the Internet, it’s probably time to rethink things. Better yet, take a deep breath and relax…the cloud has you covered.