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Finance heads to the cloud

4/1/2015 6:17:01 PM

Cloud computing has different meanings to some businesses. Certain companies are eager to leverage the technology's data accessibility to facilitate employee collaboration and productivity, while others seek cloud suites to reduce operating costs and replace legacy equipment. CGMA Magazine's Chris Hall recently highlighted the financial advantages the service accomplishes.

He explained cloud computing has reshaped how technology is adopted and applied in business environments. This capability is a "huge opportunity for finance," as the service offers analytics, reporting and planning functionality that is all possible through lower-cost tools compared to antiquated solutions.

For financial systems, cloud computing may lead to higher success rates for projects. Hall wrote some initiatives fail because older systems cannot deliver the necessary flexibility or usability of cloud software. When employees do not have trouble accessing solutions, and actually enjoy performing tasks, the percentages of completion will be improved.

Access to key data
Financial information holds immense value to organizations. In terms of data accessibility, cloud computing exceeds older solutions' capabilities by significant margins. The service is available through the Internet, enabling employees to view content through PCs, tablets and smartphones. For workers in the field, having this capability is ideal for making real-time decisions to stay ahead of industry trends.

"Financial operations can thrive in cloud computing environments."

Hall indicated finance teams are feeling the pressure of being able to leverage analytics. Some companies have older solutions that came before big data influenced the marketplace. Firms still relying heavily on spreadsheets to track information patterns are at a disadvantage as well. Cloud environments are up to the challenge of handling increasing data volumes while simultaneously delivering flexibility to the company.

Scalability in particular is ideal for addressing fluctuating operational demands. Cloud computing achieves this feat, with some vendors offering clients pay-as-you-go service models. Businesses with such partnerships never waste resources during high or low traffic periods, instead just spending on what they need.

Some chief financial officers are still hesitant to adopt cloud computing. Some chief financial officers are still hesitant to adopt cloud computing.

Some CFOs still not convinced
Despite all of the functionality advantages of cost-effectiveness delivered, some chief financial officers still need some convincing when it comes to implementing cloud computing. TechWeek Europe surveyed industry professionals to determine how CFOs can see the value of the technology.

Gordon Goff, strategist at Red Hat, emphasized the benefits of hybrid cloud models, explaining these environments enable CFOs and their businesses to possess control over core IT systems and adhere to compliance guidelines.

This last capability is among the most critical areas in which decision-makers may need convincing. Executives are not always comfortable with the idea of migrating sensitive data to off-site environments where they lack physical control over key assets. Should this content be exposed due to security lapses, the customer may experience compliance fines and public distrust.

With hybrid tools, Goff said firms still maintain parts of their infrastructure while other applications are hosted in the cloud.

"A key requirement to keep in mind however is to take an open approach to hybrid computing whenever possible. This leaves the organization in control of their technology roadmap by maintaining the ability to move workloads between public clouds and internal IT infrastructure," Goff told TechWeek Europe.

Receive the right support
CFOs ready to make cloud computing part of their companies' IT future should not rush the adoption process. There are many variables to consider regarding the the service as whole, including which model to enact and the vendor to choose. CFOs may not give the cloud more than one chance to deliver, which is why Apptix, an application modernization provider, can help make the transition as seamless and secure as possible.

Learn more about Apptix's successful approach to cloud computing today.

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