A lot of the work I do is around the information that comes out of a computer or the processes before data is entered. What happens in between is to me, quite frankly, a bit of a dark art.

I recently attended a seminar Cloud Accounting for the 21st Century Debunking The Myths hosted by one of my former partners Richard Messik and his colleague at Cloud Advocates David Terrar.

During our time at Jayson Newman, Richard was involved with the development of Easycounting an internet accounting solution that was aimed at IT contractors.The term Cloud hadn’t been coined and as Richard freely admits he was ahead of his time!

I found the event to be quite an eye opener. Not only were the advantages of Cloud computing such as mobile usage and reduced infrastructure and maintenance costs made abundantly clear, there was also really interesting discussion around the reasons for the reluctance of some people to adopt the technology:

  • Security was cited as one of the main areas of concern. The various speakers pointed out that the level of security offered by Cloud providers is likely to be MORE secure than the average on premises system. One provider who was at the seminar told me their servers are housed in a bunker with multiple power supplies and internet connections. As providers supply multiple organisations, economies of scale can be achieved to ensure state of the art firewalls and antivirus software.
  • Another reason seems to be that people are more comfortable knowing where their data is.. and until yesterday that included me!! The fact of the matter is that in our everyday business and personal lives we put trust in outside organisations. Many are already comfortable using internet banking or social media… which are in the Cloud. For generations it has been second nature to put your money in a bank and not under a mattress, but going back years I’m sure people had a similar reticence!

People who have been almost weaned on Facebook are now entering the business world, they don’t have the same hang ups and I am firmly convinced that Cloud technology is the future!

Having said that…. buyer beware!! The Cloud is now high on my agenda, however it is still early days for the industry. Appropriate industry wide standards need to be developed and it is possible that some providers could go to the wall or not follow best practice. Proper due diligence and stringent service level agreements are imperatives!!  So by all means put your head in the Cloud but do also keep your feet on the ground!!