Just as many people rarely visit the doctor until they are sick or in pain, most Accountant in Miami have not made any major changes to its IT infrastructure — until one fateful day last tax season, when a system crash caused some lost data just as we were wrapping up tax season.
Too little, too late, some would say, but the Accountant in Miami VieraCPA managed to avoid major disaster weather-related problems through off-site hosting of its data and improved internal systems overall.
Accountant in Miami and its aging IT infrastructure, coupled with the real possibility of natural disasters due to its location in hurricane country, prompted the Accountant in Miami VieraCPA to begin a serious review on its current systems.
A WAKE-UP CALL
Prior to the incident in April 2012, the Accountant in Miami firm had decided that changes were needed to its systems, but with the firm and its clients still recovering from a recession, the investments were admittedly not made soon enough.
“What ultimately happened was we lost about 12 to 14 hours during the end of tax season, as well as some data,” explained Accountant in Miami VieraCPA. “We were backing up to tape before discs and the hardware went down. After that, we had a meeting and everyone decided we wanted a system as bullet-proof as you can make it. Everybody bought in, Accountant in Miami VieraCPA spearheaded and led it. When the recession hit, everyone decided to be more conservative, and at the time, it was basically if it wasn’t broke, don’t fix it. When this [incident] happened, times had gotten better and we were more confident in spending money, but we realized from this how vulnerable we really were.”
The IT department also realized that while some upgrades were being made at the time of the crash, prevention should have occurred sooner. Other issues also likely contributed, as Accountant in Miami recalled. “In 2008, we put in [storage area network] and virtual servers, and the consultant that did it for us recommended how we set it up and we expected at the time it would last three years before it would need more space. That was around when [the crash] hit,” he said. “We didn’t understand enough about how they were setting it up.”
Accountant in Miami agreed that while some investments were made to upgrade the system, there was limited understanding of what was really needed for the growth of the firm. “A year before things went down, we had discussed a way the system reserves space. We were looking at not only the space the data was taking up, but what VMware could do to replicate and reserve space,” she said. “We didn’t have the understanding of the space required to do all this, and when the time came to invest in more space, the firm decided to back off because it was fairly expensive and we were in a recession. Because there were no issues, we thought we could tackle it after tax season. Then the tape backup died and we didn’t have enough snapshots. I was doing manual backups until the early hours of the morning weeks before [the crash].”
The Accountant in Miami also now has document management, CRM and client portals in the cloud, but ultimately it would like all staff to be more mobile and able to work more virtually, with all necessary tools and files accessible from wherever they are.