Each year, technology seems to advance at an even greater pace, it can be challenging for businesses to keep up. But in today’s competitive landscape, the risk of doing nothing can be costly. “Companies that stick with the old ways of doing business run the risk of being disrupted by new, digitally-enabled businesses," explains Karen Dela Torre, Vice President of the Oracle ERP Cloud Products Business Group.
One of the greatest drivers of digital transformation in the corporate world has been cloud computing. In 1999, Salesforce.com pioneered the concept by delivering enterprise applications via a simple website. This paved the way for software firms to deliver applications over the Internet. Since then, cloud computing has made a profound impact on our personal and professional lives.
While cloud-based software solutions are widely available for different purposes and industries, they are particularly beneficial for enterprise finance, promising to obliterate silos, integrate data and improve collaboration. Companies that have historically relied on spreadsheets, manual processes and disconnected data sources for financial budgeting, forecasting and reporting are adopting financial planning and analysis (FP&A) solutions that live in the cloud and 74% of CFOs say cloud computing will have the most measurable impact on their business this year, according to a BDO Technology Outlook Survey.
Cloud finance solutions can essentially change the way in which finance teams are perceived and valued within an organization. Before such technologies, “we spent all our time looking backwards,” explains Safra Catz, Oracle CEO. “Now it’s about looking to the future.” Similar sentiments have been reiterated by Oracle Senior Vice President, Rondy Ng. “By unlocking the value of data using a modern and complete cloud-based [approach], CFOs and their finance teams can seize the unique opportunity to become the new digital guidance system for the enterprise.”
Let’s take a closer look at seven reasons why companies are moving finance to the cloud.
Having “physical” copies of software applications residing on company computers and servers comes with costs and complexities. Managing, updating and supporting this software requires physical space and dedicated IT resources. Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, enable business users to access the software virtually, eliminating the need for physical hardware and freeing up IT resources so they can focus on driving the business forward, rather maintaining technology.
"The need today is not just to automate the finance function, but to digitize it; not just to focus on operational efficiency, but on operational velocity,” explains Ms. Dela Torre. Cloud computing enables businesses to achieve efficiencies by having the latest and greatest software without the need for complex implementations and ongoing upgrades. The investment is spent on training users, optimizing the use of applications and being able to react to market changes more nimbly, which serves as a competitive differentiator.
Whether a company is scaling up or changing directions, cloud computing is designed to evolve with businesses. Cloud software gives companies the ability to add users at any time, and upgrade features on a subscription-based model, for ultimate scalability.
Securing data, protecting customer information, and ensuring business continuity are crucial for businesses today. When financial data is stored in the Cloud, data is always safe and secure with the most reputable, world-class cloud providers. Companies can be rest assured that if a natural disaster or other unexpected event compromises their physical office, their data will not be impacted.
5. Cost Effective
Companies that move finance to the Cloud benefit from a full-featured financial performance management solution with flexible purchase options and a lower total cost of ownership. No large upfront investment is required.
With Cloud software, large, global teams can all access the same system, anytime, from anywhere with an internet connection, including on a mobile device. When employees can access data and reports and collaborate with each other from one central location, the time-consuming process of sending spreadsheets and reports back and forth over email is eliminated and the bottom line is improved. In fact, a recent survey by Frost & Sullivan showed that companies investing in collaborative software increased productivity by as much as 400%.
7. Data Integration
Traditional methods for integration are costly, complex and poorly suited to modern hybrid IT environments of both cloud and on-premises applications. Just 15% of CFOs believe that their finance teams have become fully engaged with other parts of the business in pursuing strategic initiatives, according to a 2015 Oracle survey titled The Digital Finance Imperative. Cloud software enables companies to quickly and easily connect cloud and on-premises applications, so that teams can streamline business processes and heighten visibility across the organization.
Limelight Cloud is a leading FP&A solution that transforms how companies do business. It includes a full range of finance and accounting capabilities to deliver real-time business insights.
By centralizing and automating your financial data in a single system with a familiar Excel-like user experience, Limelight Cloud increases collaboration and gives you immediate insights into your company performance and profitability.