What you need to know about moving your financials to a 100% cloud environment
Cloud-based systems have become widely used in recent years because of the convenience, flexibility and capabilities they offer for businesses. But some companies and individuals are still skeptical about entrusting their sensitive data to relatively new technology. This is particularly true of some accountants who worry about putting all of their company’s financials on the cloud. While their primary concerns revolve around security, they also often wonder whether the technology will actually improve operations or just create new headaches. To help alleviate these fears and gain buy-in from key individuals, here are some ways you can make your team more comfortable working in a 100% cloud environment.
Let’s address this up front: the cloud is secure. While no system is infallible, and culprits are always working on new ways to breach security systems, the cloud is as secure as, if not more secure than whatever system you are currently using.
While we could write volumes about all the security features that make the cloud safe, Norton, a leader in cybersecurity systems, sums it up like this: “First, servers are usually located in warehouses that most workers don’t have access to. Secondly, the files stored on cloud servers are encrypted. This means that they are scrambled, which makes it far harder for cybercriminals to access.” In addition, Gartner notes that, “The challenge exists not in the security of the cloud itself, but in the policies and technologies for security and control of the technology. In nearly all cases, it is the user, not the cloud provider, who fails to manage the controls used to protect an organization’s data.”
In other words, as long as users are following the proper security policies and procedures, they have little to worry about. To get your team comfortable using a cloud-based system, share this information with them and help them understand that they are the ones ultimately in control of how safe your data is. If they are already concerned about data security, they will likely feel reassured and more likely to buy into a new cloud-based system.
Integrating with your current systems
Exchanging data is another common concern among those who are still cloud-averse. Your team likely uses multiple software solutions, and any new system will have to fit seamlessly into your current infrastructure or you could risk significant disruption. Team members and business leaders don’t want to sacrifice performance now for the promise of better operations in the future, particularly when they can’t fully understand what those benefits might be.
This is a legitimate concern, and the best way to alleviate those fears is to choose cloud-based software that is easy to integrate with your current systems. Gravity Software™ (Gravity) was built on the Microsoft Power Platform (aka Dynamics 365), which means it’s designed to work in tandem with other powerful apps and software solutions. With Gravity, you can have financials, add CRM from Microsoft, really what ever app your heart desires. There’s no need to manage separate applications.
There’s a bonus to having other power apps that matter to your business on one platform, it allows your accounting and operations team to be more agile and respond to challenges faster.
Systems and security updates
One of the advantages of using a cloud-based system is that it makes it faster and easier for software providers to update their systems against the latest security threats and implement system upgrades. They don’t have to come on-site to access your servers, and upgrades can be scheduled to run automatically in the middle of the night so there are fewer disruptions for your employees. If team members are wary about moving to the cloud, simply communicate to them that using a cloud-based system will help ensure that they are always protected from security threats and using the latest technology.
The best way to help anyone feel more comfortable with a new software system, cloud-based or otherwise, is to make sure they have the proper training. When implementing a new system, give employees sufficient time to explore the new system while still completing all of their current responsibilities. Conduct training in a supportive environment, ideally in small groups so people feel more comfortable asking questions. Consider hiring a professional who can help your employees understand all the nuances of the system rather than trying to figure it out on their own. Not only will this help team members feel more comfortable, but it will also help ensure that your organization gets the maximum benefit out of your new system.
Transitioning from on-premises systems to a cloud-based deployment is a significant change, but it is also the way the world is moving. The cloud provides such flexibility and convenience that companies who shun new technology will inevitably be at a strategic disadvantage. However, that doesn’t mean that you should take a “my cloud or the highway” approach. Remember that concerns about switching to the cloud are warranted, and anyone expressing hesitation is just worried about protecting your company and ensuring continuity of operations. By taking the steps above, you can alleviate those fears, gain buy-in from key stakeholders and help your team make a smooth transition to a new cloud-based system.
Better. Smarter. Accounting.