Kacee Johnson, Cloud9′s EVP, has been recognized as one of the 2012 and 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” Executives by CPA Practice Advisor. Overseeing its marketing, sales and business development operations since early 2009, Kacee has led Cloud9 Real Time growth to nearly 20,000 users and climbing. Recognized as an industry expert on the subject of how businesses can implement and utilize Cloud technologies, Kacee is a regular speaker and commentator at accounting and technology events nationwide.
Have you seen the movie documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? That’s what many think is next for the in-house server. Law firm cloud server technology has been on an uphill rise for the past 5 years and isn’t going anywhere. If your firm is not already in the cloud, it’s only a matter of time…
So what killed the in-house server and why the big push for cloud? First, lets debunk the common misconception that cloud is something new. It is a new technology for small to medium sized business owners because a decade ago, the SMB could not afford the benefits that cloud computing afforded large corporations; Including increased security, highly scalable environments, remote accessibility and decreased IT costs.
With technology advancements, the cloud is now available to businesses of all sizes, which is why the law firm cloud server solution is fast becoming vogue.
Increased/enhanced productivity is what we all desire in our small businesses; and productivity surges when workers are happy in their roles and tasks. Giving them the leeway and a level of trust to use their own smartdevices on the firm’s network is one way that demonstrates trust– and that makes them happier (some anyway lol).
At the same time, we do not wish that such ‘freedom’ negatively impacts on the efforts that went into building and operating our business.
If you have already decided that BYOD is not for your company, then you may be surprised to know that elsewhere it’s already happening extensively. In fact, nearly 40% of info/tech workers in North America use their own smartdevices without their employer’s permission. Shocked, are you?
Prior to the Cloud,enterprise resource planning (ERP) was a promise that was never delivered on to all but the biggest companies. The advantages oft trumpeted by ERP consultants and application makers, including the mapping and connecting of all staff, projects, finances and locations in the business, were mostly out of reach for SMBs.
Cloud Based ERP Software Hosting - …- That Was Then This Is Now …
Two decades ago, ERP was not a widely understood concept. In the 80s, Enterprise Resource Planning saw its first evolutionary advancements. However, the overall intent of ERP technology has always been consistent: Connecting all of the people, financial and business data in an organization from all departments and locations.
Franchisors and franchisees alike are increasingly turning to cloud services for franchising to operate their companies more efficiently.
While the term ‘cloud computing’ is new, the concept of sharing by multiple businesses and locations via secure remote centralized datacenters has been around since the mid 1960s (someone say ‘time-sharing’). In the full sense, cloud computing today underscores a paradigm shift from local office computing systems that are on-site to a “utility computing” model in which shared and scalable computer infrastructure, software and business processes are provided via the Web for a monthly or annual fee.
But how does cloud computing help
both sides of the franchise equation?
Increasingly the preferred mode of cloud computing for many SMBs is via a fully managed Cloud9 private virtual server in a highly scalable custom franchise cloud environment, so that you can pay for what you need and use versus a large investment in traditional local office server infrastructure that you might grow into (but probably won’t).
Primary benefits of franchise system cloud computing
With few providers offering insurance-focused cloud services, cloud computing is yet to be widely adopted by small insurance companies. Changes are afoot however as, increasingly, small insurance companies are becoming aware of the huge potential benefits of the cloud.
According to Anthony Burke MBA at JMR Consulting, “Cloud computing for smaller insurance companies levels the playing field in terms of access to technology and software. Cloud computing gives smaller insurance companies the sorts of facilities that previously only the biggest insurance companies could afford.”
The small manufacturing sector is undergoing a rapid and profound transition – to small manufacturer cloud computing. Many small manufacturers are realizing productivity increases through cloud computing-based, mobile-enabled application solutions that heretofore only the largest manufacturers have utilized to manage their operations with great precision.
Small manufacturers are increasingly turning to a panoply of emerging cloud computing services and resources including business software hosting, IaaS cloud computing (Infrastructure as a Service) and private virtual servers. The global demand for such cloud computing will grow nearly 19 percent this year to over $130 billion, reports market research firm Gartner and – more importantly – the growth velocity is expected to increase in North America, which is anticipated to garner nearly 60 percent of all new cloud computing budgets, from 2013 through 2016.
Once upon a time SMBs utilized technology to fuel efficiency and reduce costs. But, in today’s oil & gas industry, simply being efficient is no longer sufficient. Now, computer technology is used to stimulate innovation and push SMBs beyond their competition.
Cloud Computing’s Future in SMB Oil & Gas
In light of amazing advances in cloud computing during the past 5 years, managers across the oil gas arena increasingly choose cloud-hosted oil gas applications and private virtual server hosting over the historically conventional desktop software approach. And, many oil gas SMBs are seeing resultant increases in revenue as cloud computing enhances workflows and propels ideas faster throughout their organizations.
“The transition from local desktop and local server-based operations to cloud computing and SaaS (software as a service) is possibly the greatest shift in information technology since the advent of the commercialized Internet in the early 90s.”
While the advantages afforded by law practice cloud services are many, several issues arise relating to the relative security of the newer cloud-based systems versus traditional, on-premises setups. In a law firm context, the use of Saas (software-as-a-service) cloud computing raises ethics issues around storing confidential client data.
The advantages of migrating traditional desktop and server-based software to ‘the cloud’ are numerous for law practices of all sizes. Law Practice Cloud Services typically reduce or eliminate altogether the large advance licensing and server payments, offer markedly reduced consulting and deployment fees, and eliminate the never-ending “upgrade hamster wheel” typically associated with conventional desktop and server-based applications. Cloud-computing also offers “anytime/anywhere availability,” an increased level of access, and compatibility with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Cloud Services for Law Firms now include legal practice management solutions, document management and data storage, secure document and information platforms, hosted secure email exchanges, digital dictation services and billing/time tracking. Cloud-based SME platforms are innovative, economical and increasingly viable for legal practices of all sizes.
Cloud Services for Law Firms Advantages
Law firm cloud computing advantages include reduced overhead due to decreased IT costs, increased ease of IT maintenance and support,
Taking advantage of law firm cloud computing allows attorneys to focus on providing legal services while the cloud provider updates, upgrades and maintains the practice management, accounting, time tracking, and other applications on both a regular and emergency basis.
How can small business cloud servers add immediate real value to a small business or professional practice?
Small Business Cloud Servers technology has ushered in new possibilities to enhance small business IT processes by leveraging cloud computing technology at a rapid pace. From unleashing untapped IT resources with cloud based servers, to allowing staff members to use their personally selected BYOD smart devices for work, to reducing IT costs operating and maintenance costs, operating from the cloud allows businesses to remain focused on core business objectives.
There are a myriad of ways in which small business cloud servers can accelerate small business value. A qualified cloud service provider can assist your small business to implement best practices for your specific needs, your customers, and your overall operational model.
Small Business Cloud Servers Lower IT Costs
Small Business Cloud Servers allow small companies to rapidly scale and explore technologies that are needed when they are needed, while foregoing the total cost of owning and maintaining such technologies.
Cloud9 is proud to be an Intuit .“Authorized Innovator”.(and Commercial Host)
Of all the hundreds of applications and software makers that Cloud9 Real Time facilitates with its array of dynamic private cloud solutions, none is more indicative of our own surprising success than Intuit.
Suddenly Intuit is being acknowledged everywhere, from FORTUNE’S 100 best places to work list (#19 ), to Forbes most innovative companies in the world list (up 27 spots from last year).
What makes Intuit such a great place to work? “The financial application maker uses its culture to invoke innovation,” says the FORTUNE snapshot, “with ‘idea jams,’ formal rotation programs for new employees, and four hours of ‘unstructured time’ per week for employees to work on projects of their own choosing.”
“And in recent years the Company’s executive management have recast a once big stodgy 30 year old tech firm, with $4.1 billion in revenue and $17 billion in market valuation (similar to Yahoo‘s, but with far less fanfare and drama), in the image of a Silicon Valley startup: fast-moving, embracing uncertainty, and continually learning.
Everyone is taking note of the consolidation of the CPA profession into megafirms as we see major mergers of equals (e.g. Reznick-Cohn, Clifton-Larson). The AICPA showed a decrease in the number CPA firms over the past five years from 47,000 to 43,000.
But might there be a counter-trend reversing that tide, hidden by the retirement of the baby boomers who own many of those small firms?
Futurists often say that for every major trend, there is often a series of counter trends that move in the opposite direction. We may be seeing that right now in the CPA profession. Tom Hood executive director and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) thinks so -
While cloud accounting and reliable accounting hosting platforms are in hot discussion throughout the industry, some real life examples may be apropos.
Brian Austin and Kim Hogan at CPA Practice Advisor magazine weigh in on the most pertinent areas to examine towards moving an accounting practice to a private accounting cloud. An important and potentially urgent matter of whether you should move your practice to the cloud, now or later, looms.
It seems that everywhere we turn these days we’re inundated with messages of moving to the Cloud. Sometimes it feels as though the Mad Men advertising powerhouse is hard at work in the Sterling-Cooper board room, coming up with new material to keep the accounting world drinking that Cloud Kool-Aid. We are just talking about software though, aren’t we? There can’t really be that big of a difference. In the end, we all get to the same place, right?
- Rob has recently been nominated for Small Business Trends’ 2012 ‘Small Business Influencer ‘ and you may vote for him HERE.
The Benefits Of Online Client Accounting
The Cloud has changed the world of accounting. This concept is not new—it actually dates back to the early 1990s—but the biggest growth by accounting firms starting to take advantage of this online technology has been within the last few years.
Robert J. Chandler
Today’s technology is used by more and more accounting professionals and business owners to accomplish their tasks with far more convenience and efficiency. These new methods provide mutual benefits as owners and accountants work together in the Cloud.
While most of the advantages have been around for some time, they are now finally being utilized as they should be. Consider four unique mutual benefits of online client accounting.
Business owners and practice managers are always vexed with discovering paths to evolve and improve their companies and to spin old challenges into new gold. They are also on alert for methods to effectively distinguish themselves from their competitors.
“One area that holds significant promise for companies in fast growth mode or emerging markets is the IT area. Organizations that are not heavily invested in legacy IT systems can leapfrog their competitors by investing in the newest and best available systems via the most current cloud computing models,”writes Tim Caulfield, a national thought leader of cloud and IT evolution and president of Cloud9’s San Diego data center.
Businesses that are able to assess and seize the power of cloud computing will garner increased revenue more effectively and will remove the obstacles in their business processes through improved transparency and interaction with vendors and clients.
Tim Caulfield continues: “Cloud computing is all about delivering speed, agility and cost reduction to IT and other functional areas within the enterprise. And while it is true that the basic allure of cloud computing is cost reduction there are several other key impacts cloud computing will have on your business environment.”
Increasingly, nonprofits, including charities, industry and trade associations, NGOs, chartered schools, and 501(c) religious organizations are transitioning their business, contact management, and accounting applications to cloud computing for nonprofits.
Cloud computing for nonprofitshelps to increase transparency and minimize costs, while gaining improved control over their finances and operations
Take for example the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, a US-based 501(c) charitable organization founded and operated by descendants of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi Worldwide switched from conventional desktop QuickBooks to a Cloud9 24/7 hosted plan in 2010.
Lynnea Bylund of Catalyst House, a Gandhi Worldwide board member, notes: “Cloud9′s tech helped us reduce the total cost of our accounting system by at least 40%, on an annual basis, while reducing stress and increasing access. At important moments myself, the institute’s chairman and our CFO can all assess a real-time accounting picture, each of us from different locations in the world, at the same time in the same file.”
Cloud Computing for Nonprofits
Cloud computing-based accounting, for example, provides two primary benefits that are especially attractive to nonprofit organizations. Continue reading →
Cloud based document management storage and cloud computing for the cemetery, cremation and funeral industries.
Business owners in the Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Home Services industry have a unique requirement in their data storage needs, as many records are considered permanent and have an infinite retention compliance to meet. The amount of data grows daily and with that, so does the liability and cost.
It is important to note that while Cloud Computing is used by businesses of all industries and sizes, this research and analysis will be focused on the Cloud Solutions for Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Service Providers. Because of this, the focus and special attention needed by after-life service providers in their technology solutions should not be minimized.
“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” says Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”
One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects.