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This is a popular question I have gotten over the years.  I used to try to answer the question with a token answer that at the end of the day didn’t really help the person who asked.  Now that I am a wily veteran in the IT space with accounting firms, I pivot the question.  Here is my brief answer to the question:

It’s not about size, it’s about position.

Is your firm able to retain and attract top IT talent needed to build and maintain a network with 2017 best practices?

How about doing that on an honest budget that the partners can feel good about?

Does a partner have a vision for IT and the ability to manage/retain/recruit the staff?

Then the last question – what can be gained by keeping the capital equipment (i.e.: servers) in a closet/server room owned by the CPA firm?

If the answers around these questions are clear, then the firm can proceed to/from the cloud with certainty.  If they are in a position to grow a healthy IT organization while also wanting to maintain the philosophy/model of capital purchases and maintenance, then you should stay in-house.  For all other responses, the cloud is a better alternative.  An eighty-person firm in the Bay area may be in a better position to stay in-house than a 300-person firm in a smaller market due to the access of talent and various other resources.  Then again, have you seen the prices of an engineer in the Bay area?  It’s rare for a firm to have a strong answer/position in all of these areas.

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Roy Keely
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Roy Keely is the VP of Market Strategy at XcentricRead more...

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