Understanding the Cloud and the Benefits for the Accountancy Sector - Presented at Accountex


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This seminar will provide an overview of the Cloud and its application to the accountancy sector. The session is aimed at accountants in practice and business that wish to understand more about the benefits and risks associated with Cloud Computing and how they might introduce it into their business.

We will define the Cloud; introduce the options available to your practice,; highlight the benefits; and address the common concerns.

This will be put into context with real life case studies from some accountancy clients that have implemented our Cloud solutions. This will provide a valuable insight into the practicalities of going down a hosted route.

By then end of the seminar you will understand what is meant by Cloud Computing; appreciate the benefits and issues; and be able to evaluate if this type of solution is applicable to your business.

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  • STEVETell the audience who you are, were you are exhibiting and how many clients we have.Are there any questions from the audience?THANK THE AUDIENCE
  • Understanding the Cloud and the Benefits for the Accountancy Sector - Presented at Accountex

    1. 1. Understanding the Cloud and the Benefits for the Accountancy Sector Presented by: Adam Chetnik and Steve Thorns
    2. 2. Understanding the Cloud and the Benefits for the Accountancy Sector• Overview of the Cloud - What is Cloud Computing?• Types of Services• Hosted Desktop – How is it different?• Benefits and Risks – Highlight the benefits and address the common concerns• How does it work in practice? – Case Study
    3. 3. Working in the Cloud?
    4. 4. What is Cloud Computing?• ‘Buzzword’ for the Internet• Name was inspired by the ‘cloud symbol’ that was often used to represent the Internet in diagrams and flowchart• Cloud symbol used to represent the Internet as early as 1994
    5. 5. What is Cloud Computing? Cloud computing refers to services andapplications that are provided over the Internet, stored in a secure data centre and accessed via any Internet enabled device.
    6. 6. Cloud Computing Services Do you use any Cloud Computing Services?• Websites: 1&1, FastHosts, WebFusion• Email: Google Mail• Email Anti-Spam and Virus filtering: Symantec Message Labs• Data storage / synchronisation: Dropbox, iCloud• Online backup: Mozy, iDrive• Hosted Services: Desktop, Applications and Servers• SaaS: Xero, KashFlow, SageOne
    7. 7. Cloud Computing Uptake 2012 Survey of 250 SMBs :• 61% of organisations use at least one hosted or cloud based service (compared to 48% - 18 months ago)• Of those not using – 26% said they anticipate adopting in the next 12 months• 77% include consideration of Cloud services within their wider IT strategySource: Cloud Industry Forum in the UK
    8. 8. Types of CloudThree main categories:• Public Cloud• Private Cloud• Hybrid Cloud
    9. 9. Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud?Public Cloud• Using the Internet to access computer services• Charged on monthly basis according to gigabytes transmitted and bandwidth used• Cloud provider bears the entire cost of infrastructure• Pros – cost efficiency, short-term commitment, faster to deploy• Cons – one-size-fits all approach
    10. 10. Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud?Private Cloud• Using virtualisation technology to provide similar function to public Cloud• Owned and managed in-house• Supplier of hardware – Dell, HP, IBM & NetApp• Pros - customisation• Cons – expensive to deploy and maintain
    11. 11. Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud?Hybrid Cloud• Outsourced options to a third party – public• Partitioning – own virtual system• Provides the customisation of private cloud• Cost efficiency of public cloud
    12. 12. Types of Cloud ComputingThree main categories:• Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)• Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)• Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
    13. 13. Types of Cloud Computing1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service• Cloud provider supplies infrastructure - access to virtual servers• Examples – Rackspace and Amazon2. Platform-as-a-Service• Includes IaaS and the operating system• Examples – Windows Azure, Google App Engine
    14. 14. Types of Cloud Computing3. Software-as-a-Service• Includes IaaS, PaaS and the application• Cloud provider installs and operates application software in the Cloud• Users do not own or manage any hardware• Examples:  Hosted Application e.g. SalesForce  Microsoft Office 365  Bookkeeping software e.g. Xero, KashFlow
    15. 15. Types of Cloud ComputingDesktop-as-a-Service• Also known as “Hosted or Virtual Desktop”• All applications, data and user profile stored on a virtual server in a different location• Access available through Internet connection with any Internet enabled device• Removes need for in-house IT infrastructure
    16. 16. Hosted Desktop – what is it?• Looks, feels and behaves the same as a normal desktop PC• A complete hosted desktop solution includes:  Windows Operating System  Software applications  Microsoft Office Standard or Professional  Email system e.g. Microsoft Exchange
    17. 17. Hosted Desktop Screen Shot
    18. 18. Benefits of the Cloud• Work from anywhere• Scalability – easy to add or remove users• Support – some providers include IT support and software updates• Reliability – most providers will give an SLA with minimum of 99.9% uptime availability• Backup (and replication)• Cost savings• Lower carbon footprint & electricity savings
    19. 19. Typical Cost SavingsExamples of cost savings with a Hosted Desktop solution versus a traditional on-siteset-up:NO. OF USERS COST SAVINGS £ Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 TOTAL5 users in 1 office 4,937 5,197 5,258 15,39110 users in 1 office 3,931 4,513 4,694 13,13820 users in 1 office 1,444 2,607 2,969 7,02025 users in 1 office 14,940 16,424 16,907 48,27235 users in 2 offices 13,349 15,055 15,780 44,18475 users in 3 offices 8,667 11,378 12,889 32,935Cost savings on average up to 50%, not taking into account staff / partner time on IT.Expenditure becomes OPEX rather than CAPEX.
    20. 20. Concerns over the Cloud• Security of Data – physical and virtual security.Data centres built with highest level of physical security. Intrusion prevention systems used toprevent an possible hacking. Transmission over the Internet and encrypted. SSL encryption,same as used for online banking and secure payment. Biggest source of data loss/leaks actuallycome from misplaced USB sticks, stolen laptops, unsecure internet connections and less thanhonest employees.• Internet Speed and ConnectionA hosted service doesn’t need high speed Internet connections as no actual processing of data ordata is transmitted over the Internet. In August 2012 Ofcom found that the average Internetspeed in UK is 9.0Mbit/s. City locations higher than this and speeds increasing all the time withinvestment backed by the Government. Internet is now consistently reliable in the UK, and ifyours is not it is more than likely a fault with internal equipment or cabling. If your Internetconnection does ever fail – options to work from another location, 3G or purchase a dongle.• Location of dataPeople are concerned that they don’t know where there data is stored. Our answer to this wouldbe to check out your supplier is before moving to them.
    21. 21. Concerns over the CloudUnder the Data Protection Act 1999 storage of data remains the responsibility of data controller(i.e. you the accountant), so you must ensure that data processor (cloud provider) maintains goodpractice in terms of security, but all this really means is that you need to check that your data iseither within EU or if in US with a safe harbour provider.• Cloud Provider – do your homeworkCheck who the provider is - do your homework . Check who they really are: are they are reseller.A good provider will give you all the reassurances you need on who they are and how theyoperate. Do they provide all support, are there support team technical, what do they charge asextras, are their data centres in the UK, what is there disaster recovery procedure, what is thelock in period, what is there SLA and downtime record.• Changes to the way you workStaff worry that it will change the way the work, business owners worry that training will berequired costing time and money. A hosted desktop looks, feels and behaves the same, so there isno need to have any concerns. A business can move to a hosted environment with no re-trainingrequirement. IT staff fear redundancy – yes this is inevitable, but we have found that in somecases the IT manager actually welcomes less time spent on IT maintenance allowing them tospend more time on planning, strategy etc.
    22. 22. Hosted Desktop UptakeRecent poll of 250 Accountants at IT updatewebinar by the ICAEW IT Faculty showed:• 11% using hosted services• 27% using a mixture of both• 50% will consider it next time need to change their server(s)• 12% systems not robust enough to host
    23. 23. How does it work in Practice?Case StudyScenario:• 30 users over 2 offices• Separate databases in the two offices• Some software only available in one office• Transferred data around on memory sticksMoved to hosted solution in June 2011 ……
    24. 24. How does it work in Practice?• Integrated database of software and all data• Staff can work from home or access system at clients• As well as no capital costs on servers, able to purchase much cheaper PCs – Thin Clients, which take 5 mins to setup compared to 5 hours previously• All using latest version of Microsoft Office• Software updates done by hosted provider
    25. 25. Summary• What is Cloud Computing?• Adoption rates are high and set to increase• Different types to consider, but all have same benefits and possible concerns• How does it work in Practice• What is the future of Cloud Computing?Improved security e.g improved encryption techniques. Cloud services will be optimized formobile. Already over 27% of emails are opened on a mobile device. European Cloud Partnership(ECP) met for first time this week kicking off the process of building an EU Digital Single Marketfor Cloud Computing. Will create a common framework for cloud computing across Europe tostimulate the migration of IT use to the Cloud. Initial budget of 10 million Euros allocated.
    26. 26. Any Questions?Adam Chetnik and Steve Thorns Stand A352 020 3239 6181 www.hosteddesktopuk.co.uk @HostedDesktopUK