While the cloud has come a long way from simply hosting music files and personal storage, some finance executives are still understandably nervous about using it to run the most critical parts of their business.
There’s just one problem: it may already be happening, maybe without them even realizing it.
As a recent article on InfoWorld points out, “all the features that make a cloud a cloud — elasticity, self-provisioning, tenancy, and usage-based cost — are now common even in enterprise data centers.” Whether you call it a “cloud” or software-as-a-service (SaaS), its benefits are increasingly obvious to small and
large companies alike. If you’re in the majority, you are already moving from simple hosted IT infrastructure to a variety of cloud application areas, from project management to financial reporting and analysis.
As you consider how the cloud fits into your business model, keep in mind the following five smart reasons to make the move today:
- Higher IT efficiency: What ZDNet published in its SaaS Cheat Sheet two years ago is still true today: cloud computing represents a lot less hassle than buying applications outright or developing them internally. “With SaaS there are no software licences or maintenance fees, which typically come in at an eye-watering annual 20 percent of the on-premise software purchase price,” it said. “You also find many of the software support tasks are simplified or eliminated — for example, you don’t have to ensure upgrades are deployed to all your machines.”
- Increased agility: Who wants to wait around for months (and waste internal resources) to develop applications when you can get the same thing within weeks? Australian research firm Telsyte suggests as much in its just-published Enterprise Applications Market Study 2015. It takes enterprise resource planning (ERP) as a prime example where SaaS and the cloud will prove disruptive. “Challenges with traditional ERP including high cost, not being easy to modify or configure and long implementation times (are) all giving organizations reasons to look at SaaS.” Finance applications too are ripe for cloud-based solutions, from budgeting and planning to month-end close software using Excel.
- Reduced infrastructure cost: In many offices, there’s still not nearly enough boardroom space and far too much data center space. That’s changing thanks to cloud computing. Case in point: Computerworld recently reported on a five-year effort by the U.S. federal government to consolidate its infrastructure by moving to the cloud. The $3.6 billion in savings so far should be all the proof you need.
- Greater security: It may sound counterintuitive, but moving to today’s enterprise-grade cloud could mean a lot less effort by your own IT staff to manage security patches and updates that that keep IT threats at bay. In this regard it’s all about having the right provider: a blog called Above The Law offers a list of pointed questions and considerations about working with cloud-based services that could be as useful for CFOs as it is for lawyers.
- Accelerated automation: A recent post on Financial Director magazine said 36% of shared service organizations will use cloud computing over the next 12 months. That means those firms will be able to put an increased focused on other things that could give them a competitive advantage: for example, 13% of them are going to increase automation to implement robotic process automation (which we recently discussed on this blog) over the next 12 months.
The bottom line? As InfoWorld put it, “the writing is on the wall” in the debate between enterprise software and the cloud. You can run your business on the cloud today. And the more factors like security, scalability and performance play into your decision-making, the more you should.
The post 5 More Reasons to Run Your Company On A Cloud Platform appeared first on Vena Solutions.