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True Cloud

logo-icon-lgTrue Cloud or Cloud Washed

Cloud has changed the rules and now everybody wants to play


We live in an age of buzzwords, of which, Cloud is one of the most popular. Organisations are enchanted by the idea of data unrestricted by geography, accessible anywhere at any time, but protected by enterprise-class security. Everybody wants to play in the clouds.

And it’s not surprising, considering the fact that the cloud offers great benefits and represents the direction modern organisations are heading. Unfortunately, it has also drawn out the impostors – in full force.

Cloud has changed the rules.

Known as “cloud washing“, many accounting system vendors advertise “cloud” solutions which are not quite what they seem, exploiting the popular terminology while concealing hidden costs, complexity and complications.


How should you determine if an accounting system is genuine cloud or cloud washed?


Does it sit up in the cloud or on a network?

Many providers say their solution is cloud but what they mean is only in a ‘private cloud’ (where the server resides inside a company’s own network environment), or a ‘hybrid cloud’ (where the applications or systems are mixed between on-premise and hosted). Genuine cloud solutions exist in the public cloud in their entirety.

Does it scale automatically?

True cloud solutions automatically scale up and down to handle organisational changes and shifting transaction volumes and traffic patterns.

Was it born in the cloud (built from scratch in the cloud) or has it been ported?

On premise solutions that are modified to run in a virtual environment (ported) are not cloud solutions.

Does it enable broad accessibility and agility?

Is the system platform-dependent? Is it proprietary? Does it limit your access to specific network types or locations? Genuine cloud is platform independent, open and standards-based, and is only access-limited by customer-centric controls.

Does it work on the go or does the solution leverage virtual machines?

If a network VPN connection or third-party components (other than a basic web browser) are necessary to enable remote access, it is not genuine cloud.

Where are the servers located?

If the software is installed on a single server, on or off site, rather than on many servers spread across different geographical regions, you still have a single point of failure and your business continuity will be compromised. True cloud solutions, on the other hand, are resilient by design.

Does it require you to buy software licenses?

If you have to buy software licenses and then pay annual maintenance you are not using a true cloud accounting system. If it isn’t Software as a Service (SaaS), look elsewhere.


These are just some of the tell-tale signs of cloud washed systems. So, what qualities should genuine cloud accounting software exhibit?


  • Insight from up-to-date, easily-accessible and relevant information.
  • Increased up-time, yielding anytime access to your data.
  • Increased resilience in the event of a disaster.
  • Pay as you go for only what you use.
  • Rapid implementation.
  • Economies of scale – leverage enterprise-class technology at a fraction of the cost.

Organisations should be wary of “cloud washers”, who simply cannot provide the agility, multi-tenancy and cost benefits afforded by true cloud accounting systems.

Xledger is true cloud with all of the inherent benefits. But, it is also much more, adding Best Practice as a Service (BPaaS) to elevate the performance of your organisation. Xledger is scalable, automated, insightful and resilient.

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