By Russell Gammon, Chief Solutions Officer at Tax Systems
Over the past decade, cloud technologies have come of age. Many businesses have made the wise choice to migrate their systems from the server room to the cloud. Tax and finance are no exception.
But with complex systems, huge amounts of sensitive data, and well-ingrained processes in place, some organisations have been reluctant to commit to cloud migration.
Here’s why it makes sense to transition your tax to the cloud.
Fuelling a new era for finance
Historically, many finance and tax professionals have been set in their ways, or wary of change. Now as more digital natives enter the workplace, and new technologies begin to dominate in an increasingly virtual landscape, organisations are having to jump on board with the idea of cloud migration as new people drive change across the entire business.
During the pandemic, the necessity for home working accelerated the adoption of cloud technologies and in turn eroded some of the more archaic workplace barriers and stale siloes and workflows that needed an overhaul.
Ready for the switch or not, the world of tax is evolving, and we need these forward-thinking teams to drive change and break down internal barriers.
Enhancing efficiency and innovation
Another problem that has historically been an obstacle is confidence in the technology itself. Businesses have been waiting for cloud solutions that actually work – that are intuitive and mimic best practice processes. Today cloud technology has come on leaps and bounds and is more intelligently able to automate certain activities. This paves the way for better productivity, efficiency, faster and easier updates, and scope for scalability.
With the traditional desktop approach, day-to-day work becomes very siloed, with restricted communications between services, applications, and teams. Relying on a legacy vendor for multiple solutions meant teams were increasingly restricted in what they could do. Now with cloud technology ushering in the era of microservices and APIs, users can pick and choose the best components for their individual needs and connect them seamlessly in the cloud to form one centralised hub for their day-to-day tasks.
Cloud technology will have a huge impact on how we work and how we customise our own virtual workplace, whilst also enabling businesses to be more agile, deploy faster, and share resources for more efficient collaboration. All-in-all, cloud adoption could lead to a company-wide boost in innovation and drive enhanced productivity for every organisation.
Driving down costs
Cloud solutions typically offer a significantly lower Total Cost of Ownership (TOC) compared with legacy systems. With a traditional server-desktop deployment, there is a considerable upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs. What’s more, due to the manual nature of the deployment of older alternatives, it can take months to update software. Implementing cloud solutions removes these costs and complications at a single stroke – you simply pay a monthly or annual, predictable fee for what you use. Likewise, the vendor and cloud host manage maintenance, patches and updates at their end, taking the stress, and cost out of outsourcing IT support, troubleshooting and maintaining the systems. Cloud users will also benefit from more regular update cycles, often with less costly downtime, so you’ll enjoy continuously improving solutions, and continuity at a manageable, predictable cost.
Cultivating a more sustainable future
It might be a surprise to some, but implementing cloud technologies can help organisations in their sustainability endeavours. Eliminating the need for hugely inefficient, old servers alone can save significant volumes of electricity. In fact, one 2018 study found that using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform could be up to 93 per cent more energy efficient, and up to 98 per cent more carbon efficient than on-premises solutions. That means, migrating to the cloud could drive businesses forward in their plans for becoming carbon neutral too.
The future of tax is digital
While it can seem a daunting undertaking, there are several benefits that will mean cloud adoption could take your organisation and your finance team to new heights.
When it comes to innovative technologies, the tax sector has historically been a little behind the curve, working with fragmented solutions from multiple vendors. In the past, we’ve taken something of a binary approach to tech because, as a profession, we’ve been somewhat desktop-driven. But now, with the MTD (Making Tax Digital) initiatives in place, and accelerated enhancements in cloud technology, many businesses are taking to the cloud, and not looking back.
Whether it’s enabling real-time collaboration between locations, lowering your TCO, benefiting from quicker updates, or improving your growth opportunities, implementing cloud-based tax systems means you’ll have a robust, scalable solution to support the future of your finance team.