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Part One: The power of the cloud in a crisis

Posted 4 years ago in Advisors by Erin Smith
Posted by Erin Smith

Marilyn Bryce is a cloud-based specialist who helps small business owners streamline their bookkeeping by using Xero. Here she shares the experience of one of her client’s life-changing crises, which was compounded by not being on the cloud.

Marilyn is now passionate about getting this story heard further afield – to show just how positive the cloud can be in the midst of an unexpected business disaster.

“I heard about my client’s fire on the news, it was on a traffic report,” recalls Marilyn, who runs Zen Cloud Solutions.

“When you hear about it on the news you know it’s a big deal.”

Recalling the story of the fire

Marilyn recalls the order of events and their impact, which contain so many lessons for business owners that she is keen to share.

“A fire started in the middle of the night in their offices,” Marilyn explains. “But what is really relevant here is just how much damage was done to my client’s business far beyond this fire. It wasn’t just their equipment and offices that were damaged – because they weren’t on the cloud they effectively lost everything.

“I want to help others learn from this experience, to turn it into a positive in some respect.”

Putting paid to paper records

The experience of Marilyn’s client provides a cautionary tale on the risks of paper-based record-keeping in this day and age.

“Unfortunately everything was paper based,” Marilyn continues. “My clients kept meticulous paper records but it was all in cardboard folders, and even the accounting program was run off the desktop.

“So that was obviously all completely destroyed as well.”

The administrative fallout begins

This administrative fallout holds significant scope for valuable lessons learned, explains Marilyn.

“My clients were taking back ups but they weren’t taking them off site,” she says, citing one such lesson learned.

“In fact the most recent backup was a few months old, and based on information they emailed to their accountant for BAS reporting. In the end, their email platform was the only source of information that survived the fire, given it was on the cloud.”

The future is cloud based

The future is now uncertain for Marilyn’s clients, who are not sure whether they will resurrect their business or start fresh. No matter what, chances are, the cloud is going to feature strongly in any case.

“I would certainly expect them to go on the cloud from day one if they do choose to resurrect their business,” Marilyn says. “They’ll hopefully go with Xero and get all the benefits of being on the cloud.”

Read the key cloud-based lessons she learned from this experience.

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