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CFOs Need to Understand the Depth and Breadth of the Cloud

November 19, 2015

The cloud represents both opportunity and challenge in the business landscape. But while the IT world has begun to catch on to its advantages as well as vulnerabilities, many C-level executives don’t really understand its potential. And when it comes to budgeting and finance, this presents a real problem, particularly for CFOs.

Most decision makers understand that the cloud represents cost savings and efficiencies, at a minimum. But the cloud doesn’t just impact the bottom line, it has a far-reaching investment impact that carries over across multiple departments and areas of a business, and CFOs need to have comprehensive knowledge of the cloud to really budget for it in a meaningful way.

The most obvious economic impact of the cloud is its effect on spending. Companies can go from making traditional CAPEX investments in legacy equipment to dependable monthly payments or even pay for only the resources they use, when they use them. A shift from CAPEX to OPEX spending is significant and frees up budget resources for other expenditures. Cloud investments also present a much lower risk than long-term legacy investments and are generally a safe bet for CFOs.

Another major factor CFOs need to consider when analyzing the cloud is how far-reaching its impact can be. Cloud services and resources obviously impact the IT department but they are permeating throughout the enterprise for use by sales and marketing teams, the accounting department and creative personnel, who can take advantage of myriad ways to collaborate remotely.

In fact, other departments are migrating to the cloud without the IT department being directly involved, and CFOs need to understand this shift in business procedure. The cloud essentially offers an easy route to helpful applications and services that doesn’t require a lot of IT management and overhead, effectively changing how a business operates. This can ultimately benefit IT departments, who are freed up to focus on core business initiatives and are spared the mundane tasks of day-to-day tech support, software upgrades and other tedious items.

There is no question that the cloud is a game changer, and it brings myriad benefits to the business world. As long as CFOs have a comprehensive understanding of how their organization will change and grow as the cloud permeates different departments, they will be able to allocate budget appropriately and apply savings and investments to the right areas to help their companies flourish and grow.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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