How Cloud Computing Will Take Shape in 2013
There is no question about it; cloud computing is going to grow even larger in 2013. Traditional accounting firms will find it increasingly difficult to ignore organizations’ prevailing use of cloud storage internally and with their clients.
According to a recent study by the AICPA, 11 percent of CPA firms already operate completely in the cloud. Another one-third of the 624 respondents reported using cloud software, such as bill management, accounting and payroll applications, in some areas of their practice.
While the biggest concern surrounding cloud use is security, professionals around the world are benefiting from remote access to work data and information, not having to keep up with software updates, and other benefits.
As the cloud is going to hover over the accounting profession more and more, here are three predictions to consider.
The Cloud and the Fiscal Cliff
The past decade can be defined by two words: Economic uncertainty. It’s precisely this environment that has fuelled the growth of cloud use and software as a service (SaaS), writes Jeffrey M. Kaplan in an analysis for E-Commerce Times.
“Continued economic uncertainty and the threat of higher operating costs caused by the current fiscal crisis will drive more businesses to adopt cloud-based alternatives,” he states.
Meanwhile, globalization is no longer a choice for many companies. Relying on markets in Europe adds the eurozone crisis to the list of incentives to keep operating costs down.
In addition, faced with constant market forecast haziness, more organizations will turn to cloud services for cost management services.
Working in the Cloud Will Become the Norm
Twenty years ago, the word “business” invoked images of an office space where people came dressed nicely to work at desks between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
“You can throw that all out the window thanks to the cloud,” writes Raj Sabhlok for Forbes.
Customers are no longer satisfied with receiving services only in person during traditional work hours. More organizations are realizing the need for constant virtual presence and support.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of employees are craving work environments that cater to their personal lives. They want to access professional information on their personal devices and work from wherever they choose. Cloud computing lets them do this.
Many businesses are actually realizing they don’t need brick-and-mortar structures anymore to house work, saving them exponential costs on real estate and office furnishings, explains Sabhlok.
Private vs. Public Cloud Services
While Sabhlok suggests organizations will grow less wary of open source cloud computing software like CloudStack and OpenStack, Kaplan writes many businesses will strive to find a hybrid mix between private and public systems.