Fake cloud vs real cloud: How to spot the difference

With digital transformation increasingly becoming one of the top priorities for organisations to successfully navigate, it’s likely that you’ve started to shop around for intuitive cloud accounting software, and it won’t take you long to discover there are a vast array of options out there.

As companies move away from on-premise systems in favour of the cloud, many of the software solutions on the market have been implemented without any real consideration for how they interact with new platforms.

That’s why it’s vitally important to understand the difference between true cloud solutions and those that masquerade as such – also known as ‘fake cloud’.

Sometimes referred to as SoSaaS – Same old Software as a Service – organisations that integrate this type of technology soon find themselves laden with excessive costs, poor performance and something that is far too time-consuming because it’s nothing more than an adaptation of the software you originally had.

So, with even greater adoption of new working practices – particularly throughout Covid-19 – are the boundaries blurred as to what’s fake and what’s true in the world of cloud? Here’s what you need to know before you commit to technology that will be the best fit for your organisation…

True cloud vs fake cloud? 

Firstly, let’s cover off the definitions for both cloud terms. To put it simply, it’s all about the way the software was originally designed and set-up. If something has been adapted to suit cloud – rather than being cloud-first – it’s not cloud technology. And in the accounting and finance sector, this is particularly important as data is needed in real-time, with one single version of the truth.

That’s why true cloud infrastructure has been built specifically with this requirement in mind. It’s there to streamline processes and maintain reliable information for users to dissect and make business-critical decisions from, as well as include data sets that can be shared across the entire digital ecosystem. This means you have ultimate flexibility because you can access from any browser – as long as you have an internet connection – as it’s not reliant on specific browsers.

Additionally, true cloud also has access to global, seamless updates and is easy-to-deploy, so you’ll never miss a beat nor be working from an old system or clunky version again. And it’s digital-first capabilities allow for the provision of constant, secure software upgrades without impacting an organisation’s customised configuration.

In contrast, fake cloud struggles with integration into other cloud-based systems. The reason for this is that it was never really designed to exist in a modern cloud world. Instead, it was simply created to be an on-premise solution that could be adapted to work in a limited fashion on a cloud environment.

On the surface it may appear to look like it’s true cloud counterparts, but the performance and troublesome integration can be an instant giveaway. You’ll soon discover that it simply doesn’t fit the bill for today’s fast-paced, flexible, and hybrid working model.

With everything heading in the direction of digital too, these fake cloud systems are going to become quickly outdated and obsolete. So, while right now it might feel like a short-term fix, it’s not the stepping-stone you require if you want to add quality technology to your software stack and enhance organisational performance.

How can you differentiate between true cloud and fake cloud? 

When you’re researching alternatives, requesting demonstrations, and talking to sales teams about their cloud products, it’s important to know what to ask to ensure you are not being sold fake cloud software. To arm you with the confidence and knowledge, here are the questions you should be asking during your next research phase: 

  • How easily can other platforms connect, or be integrated? 
  • Can you access the system from anywhere without a VPN?
  • Are there app alternatives alongside the browser version?
  • Do I need to log-in to a remote desktop application first?
  • What development language is the system written in?
  • How long is the contract? (SoSaaS providers tend to have a greater overhead to set up servers and therefore lock users into a multi-year commitment rather than a simple monthly contract).

Overall, we’d recommend that organisations in a position to integrate cloud software carry out their due diligence and make sure they spot the red flags of an ‘imitation’ piece of kit before signing on the dotted line. 

 If you’re looking at implementing powerful cloud accounting software to future-proof your organisation, get in touch and speak to our specialists or see our software for yourself. 

WEBINAR: Moving to a Modern Cloud Finance System

[WEBINAR] Featured Image Moving to a Modern Cloud Finance System

Take a peek at how modern cloud accounting can transform your finance operations. Many vendors are discontinuing on-premise products so now is a good time to see what cloud accounting has to offer. 

This webinar will cover: 

  • Advanced workflows and approvals
  • Flexible multi-dimensional reporting
  • Automated billing and revenue recognition
  • Intercompany management
  • Multicurrency and multi-entity consolidation
  • How Fireco transformed their finance operations by switching to iplicit.

When: Thursday 19th October, from 11-11.40am BST. 

register now

How it all works

iplicit’s architecture is quite special; it’s true cloud and only in the browser, but it looks and feels like a desktop application. No layer upon layer of tabs opening and probably the most intuitive navigation that you will find in the marketplace today. Take a look for yourself.