True Cloud Accounting Software vs. The Pseudo Cloud Solution
Posted on: August 15, 2014 | By: Jim Bertler | Intacct
Recently, we have been discussing and comparing a true cloud solution like Intacct’s cloud accounting software to solutions we wouldn’t consider to be true cloud or pseudo cloud. To provide a definition a true cloud solution to us is only offered in the cloud and offers regular updates that are automatically available to a company. Therefore, there is only ever one version of the software. We would consider a non-true cloud to be an on-premises software with access via the web or other internet based option. Even though the solution is hosted and even has providers that provide the solution via a fee per user per month we don’t consider this to be a true cloud solution. The reason is that multiple versions of the software have to be supported by the publisher and upgrades and patches have to be handled in a traditional on-premises way.
We believe a true cloud solution is a much better choice than an on-premises solution offered via the web. However, often times when we discuss this idea with people it is dismissed as just a “technology thing”. But let’s review the issue in more detail and see what it really means. In fact we have thought of several issues so we will cover the topics in a series of articles. The first in the series will deal with how you can access the solution.
Many solutions that are not really cloud solutions actually require access via a VPN or Terminal Service connection. VPN or Terminal Service requires another layer of technology and therefore cost. In addition, VPNs don’t always work well (or at all) if workers outside the office are behind another layer of security like a client site. Terminal Service typically creates issues for accessing printers or exporting documents to Excel. You often really have two “environments”. You regular desktop or laptop and the terminal services session. In addition, most Terminal Service and VPN connections don’t work well on tablets such as an iPad. Contrast with a true cloud solution where you have the full solution available to you on an iPad or other tablet device.
Now again not having access on an iPad or other tablet device is often dismissed as a technology issue, however think of the companies today that have field or mobile workers or even people that want to check on something quick while travelling. Is it better for them to do this on a tablet device with full access to all the information available in your accounting software or a laptop computer via VPN/Terminal Services connection? Consider the simple apps available for electronic signatures for a delivery or repair/service order on tablets.
Clearly, we think the true cloud solution prevails here and look for more information in the next article in the series. We will consider cost including upgrades and using new functionality.
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