Public Cloud Solution for Large Accounting Practice
McInerney Saunders (MCIS) has been providing financial services to Irish and international clients for over three decades – a suite of services extending beyond accounting to also include audit, insolvency, tax, and pensions. This range of services, combined with the provision of partner-level advice on every aspect of their clients’ businesses, has resulted in MCIS building long-lasting relationships with its clients..
At the core of these valued relationships is MCIS’s vigilance in ensuring that its clients comply with all legal and financial regulatory requirements and in ensuring the security of its clients’ data. MCIS handles a large amount of personally identifiable information (PII). This requires that the firm’s IT partner be able to demonstrate that they have a suitable information security management system and that they are compliant with the GDPR.
MCIS previously had a UK-based IT partner. With the anticipated onset of Brexit, and to ensure the fullest compliance with GDPR, it had strategically decided to source an Irish-based IT partner and to move all data from the UK to Ireland. In choosing its new IT partner, MCIS was looking for a firm with a demonstrable track record in providing comprehensive IT support for accounting firms. MCIS also needed any prospective IT partner to be imaginative in recommending any solutions.
HOW BITS HELPED
- After receiving a detailed listing of MCIS’ requirements, we undertook a deep and broad examination of MCIS’ pre-existing IT setup.
- We developed a number of approaches for consideration and, after consultation with MCIS, a decision was made to go with a public cloud solution using Microsoft’s Azure platform.
- We designed & commissioned a fault tolerant, Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) environment in Microsoft’s Dublin based datacentre.
- We migrated all applications and data to that virtual environment without interrupting existing working patterns.
- The new system went live over a weekend to prevent any impact on employee’s productivity.
“At McInerney Saunders we take great pride in delivering a comprehensive suite of financial services to our clients – all the while being acutely aware of the need for data protection and of the necessity to be fully legally compliant.
We needed a full-service IT partner here in Ireland that were GDPR compliant, had broad expertise in our sector, could deliver both in-house and remote service, and that could present us with imaginative and progressive solutions.
With BITS, and the Azure platform’s public cloud solution, we have an efficient and cost-effective IT infrastructure, one that caters to our current needs and positions us optimally for our expected growth over the coming years.”
MCIS now has a local IT services provider with a deep knowledge of the accounting sector and which can provide high levels of support both onsite and offsite. MCIS has less exposure to Brexit by having its IT provider plus all other data stored in Ireland.
The new WVD environment provides many benefits:
- By having a public cloud solution rather than a private cloud solution, MCIS can avoid any need to buy/own/depreciate the hardware, as well as any need to put hardware in a datacentre. Instead, with Azure, MCIS can utilise an existing platform provided by Microsoft’s data centres in Ireland.
- That Azure platform includes extensive fault tolerance – superior to MCIS’ previous hosted platform.
- There is lower maintenance for local machines and applications need only be presented by the virtual desktop from the datacentre and not locally on a per-machine basis.
- There is less need to upgrade local machines as they are effectively just gate-ways to the more powerful virtual desktop.
- Flexible and cost-effective configurations are possible. For example, the cost of applications can be reduced by only making them available to employees who need them when they need them.
- Data security is enhanced by that data not being held on local machines. Theft of any such local machine, though undesirable, has no impact on data security.
- The vast majority of employee (IT) work practices have been able to remain the same.
Swords, Co. Dublin
Accountancy, Taxation & Business advisors
Windows Virtual Desktop
- Efficiency: Less hardware required onsite and no need to put hardware in datacenter
- Reliability: Enhanced fault tolerance
- Security: Enhanced security achieved by data not being held on local machines
- Support: High levels of IT support both onsite and offsite
- Reduced Costs: Less need to upgrade local machines as well as more cost-effective configurations