• Industry News

    IT Professionals Turning to the Cloud

    Cloud computing has become an important – and in some cases, required – technology for many IT departments. Gartner recently predicted the worldwide public cloud services market will approach $110 billion, with the Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service sectors all on the rise.

    "The cloud services market is clearly a high-growth sector within the overall IT marketplace," said Ed Anderson, research director at Gartner.

    Meanwhile, a recent survey by Spiceworks found that nearly three-quarters of IT departments have already implemented cloud-based servers, are looking into them or plan to use cloud servers within the next year. Cost-efficiency was found to be the No. 1 factor tech professionals consider when choosing a cloud computing vendor, while performance and scalability was rated the fourth-highest consideration.

    Data protection/security and disaster recovery and business continuity checked in at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively. According to John Kogan, CEO of Proformative, an online community forum for finance and accounting leaders, data security and recovery are essential.

    "One important consideration when taking financial or accounting-based systems into the cloud is security and backup," said John Kogan, CEO of Proformative. "Since this information is very sensitive and valuable to the organization, make sure that you are using well-vetted and established cloud providers."

    A recent Proformative study ranked the benefits cloud computing can have for accounting and financial firms, some of which include:

    - Accessibility: Cloud-based software allows workers to access corporate networks from any location or device, which enables a greater number of employees to work remotely.

    - Flexibility: At the same time, the cloud benefits company decision-makers, making it easier to implement personnel and technology changes and to establish a global workforce.

    - Green technology: In addition to cutting down on costs, cloud computing has been found to be more energy efficient than traditional on-premise servers.