Four Reasons to Choose the Cloud to Manage Finance

Ajay Kumar, Senior Director, Sales Consulting, ERP & EPM (India), Oracle Oracle is redefining how to modernize, innovate, and compete in a digital world, delivering complete and integrated cloud services that allow business users and developers to cost-effectively build, deploy, and manage workloads seamlessly -in the cloud or on premises

Reams have been written about cloud computing. Let’s talk about why it is necessary for your business and whether you are ready for this transition. Answers to the following questions will give you a perspective on what cloud can do for your business and how can you be readier for it:

1.Do you have a robust security policy in place?
Security is one of the topmost priorities when you think about a company's varied financial requirements. A CFO considers security as a key requirement when choosing a solution to manage the financial operations of his business. An important security consideration is whether to host this on an in-house server or in the cloud. Opinions differ vastly on which of these options is more secure. There is a set of people who believe cloud offers greater security, while others would like to deploy cloud solutions for peripheral functions which are not for core business functions like finance. In addition to these, there is yet another set who thinks that though configuring security policy for public cloud can be more challenging, yet proper audits and certifications can go a long way in ensuring the security in the cloud.
“Working in the cloud offers greater security when a large number of employees have access to the data, even though we have entered into confidentiality agreements with employees to secure our on-premise data,”said Mohesh Agrawal, Vice President & CFO at Medreich Limited, a pharmaceutical company. While Arun Kabra, CFO, Times of India Group, Education & Conference Businesses would not opt for a cloud-based financial package ‘for security reasons’, he has deployed cloud solutions for peripheral functions like customer relationship management, education campus management, and many more. Hosting data in the cloud requires resources with solid internal information technology skills. But if the business makes a commitment to re-skill its workforce, a cloud solution can be a good choice.

There is a set of people who believe cloud offers greater security, while others would like to deploy cloud solutions for peripheral functions which are not for core business functions like finance.

2. What is the variation in your business?
A cloud solution is easier and faster to scale. Elasticity is one of the biggest attractions of the cloud. Applications like for e-commerce, which see high seasonal traffic for example during festivals or holiday seasons work well when deployed in the cloud.

3.How frequently you need to access the data?
Cloud solutions are typically simpler and offer great functionality, especially when the decision-makers are on the move. Any time, any where access to data for timely decision making is the cloud’s biggest advantage. With cloud, the information can be accessed on a handheld device, as against when information is stored on-premise.

4. What about cost?
Cost is yet another compelling reason to opt for cloud computing. Working in the cloud could be 10 times cheaper than setting up and managing own server. Startups are cloud native organisations, as they do not have IT baggage. Cost factor for larger businesses also depends upon the kind of servers and storage solutions that are being opted for.

Every thing said and done, the cost of cloud computing will continue to decline, CFOs can consider shifting to the cloud, when the hardware needs an upgrade. According to Accenture report, 85 percent of CFOs are planning to increase their investment in the cloud. One of the big drivers for this transformation is the need to ‘move away from ERP’s legacy historical focus as a largely passive system of record, where siloed data and batch processing delay decision making.’