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Refrains such as “You must move to the cloud” and “Are you in the cloud yet?” aren’t being heard loudly and clearly enough by many organisations. This is because there are issues with cloud-based accounting software, the main one being that Sage Business Cloud Accounting, Xero and Quickbooks Online lack the functionality, complexity and speed of processing required by certain organisations.
It makes sense for these organisations, who use Sage 200 Evolution or Sage 50cloud Pastel Partner, to maintain the functionality, staff skills and add-ons they’ve already developed. They should continue to use these systems to ensure the ongoing success of their organisations.
It is now possible to host these systems on a virtual private server (VPS) which, in turn, is hosted in a private cloud. This is different to being cloud-based in that the systems operate in a known location, behind firewalls, and aren’t accessible to anyone except those authorised.
Hosting Sage in the cloud is a way of preserving the benefits of your investment in software and skills while having the advantages of a cloud service.
Here are a dozen reasons why you should consider hosting Sage in the cloud:
1. Eliminates the need for a server
There’s no need to buy a server to install your Sage 200 Evolution or Sage 50cloud Pastel Partner ever again.
So, no capital expenditure, just a fully deductible monthly operational expense. You’ll reduce your hardware support costs, insurance costs and electricity costs, and gain many benefits as outlined below.
2. Makes upgrading easy
When you purchase physical hardware it’s often specified to the maximum amount of RAM, CPU and hard drive, which you may never need to use. With a virtual private server you can set it up and adjust it on the fly for optimal performance and cost management.
3. Ensures physical security of your servers
Safety and security are major issues in South Africa. Should your office be broken into and all your equipment stolen, you would need a comprehensive backup strategy to recover your servers.
This problem disappears when you have a virtual private server (VPS) hosted in a tier 3 data centre.
4. Offers a better opportunity to manage server cyber security
Cyber security is a major headache, with malware, ransomware and disgruntled employees able to wreak havoc in an organisation.
If a staff member opens a ransomware email that infects all connected devices then it won’t infect a virtual private server because it doesn’t sit in your network,
The hosted server should be in a tier 3 data centre with full Internet security and have adequate cloud hosted cyber security software installed.
5. Enables business continuity
A natural disaster would prevent access to your office but not to your virtual private server. So, if you moved your staff to a backup location, they would connect their laptops or new hardware to the virtual private server and carry on working.
6. Makes it easier to perform disaster recovery
When a server is hosted in a virtual environment there are many tools to create an up-to-date image of the server at a point in time. Should the virtual private server be damaged or unable to run, this image can be used to very quickly reinstate the service in another location.
7. Improves RPO and RTO
RPO and RTO are terms in disaster recovery.
RPO = recovery point objective is the time of the last backup of a server.
RTO = recovery time objective is the time it takes to recover a server from a backup and have it available to use.
Recovering a server is difficult when it sits on-site at your office – first a new one must be sourced, either at the office or in the cloud, and connectivity to it must then be established.
In a hosted environment the provisioning of a new server can be quick so your recovery time objective is low.
8. Simplifies the complex
Our world is complex and chaotic and the best thing you can do is make your organisation’s infrastructure simple, scalable and manoeuvrable by:
- Hosting your servers in a virtual private cloud
- Moving to VOIP telephony with a hosted PBX
- Ensuring some redundancy from Eskom using solar power or a generator
- Using laptops for your staff with optional external screens and keyboards
9. Improves management of power failure and load-shedding
You can continue to run your organisation through a power cut if:
- Your servers are hosted in a virtual private cloud, and
- Your staff have laptops, and
- Your fibre or ADSL router and all internal network switches are connected to an uninterruptible power supply (UPS).
Since the UPS then only needs to maintain a router it’ll last far longer so, in most cases, fibre and ADSL networks will continue to run during a power cut.
10. Enables access from multiple locations
A virtual private server is accessible from wherever you and your staff are, as long as an Internet connection is available.
11. Maintains your staff status quo
You’ve made a significant investment in setting up your operation, training staff on your systems, and developing specialised, integrated modules to ensure your organisation runs optimally. None of this needs to change when you switch to a virtual private server.
12. Streamlines your auditing and accounting support
Straight from our auditor: “It’s much easier for me to manage the auditing and accounting support for a client if they’re hosted in the cloud. I simply login using remote desktop and can very quickly produce my own reports and help where required .”
In summary, there’s no need to stop using Sage 200 Evolution or Sage 50cloud Pastel Partner accounting software because you want it in the cloud. With a virtual private server hosted in a tier 3 data centre, you can keep your full-function accounting services up and running and benefit from the advantages listed above.