CrossCountry's Managing Director, John Hoebler, discusses the three main advantages of leveraging the cloud for Finance.
Hi, my name is John Hoebler and I’m with CrossCountry Consulting. We often get asked by CFOs, “How can I leverage the cloud more effectively for finance?” It’s a great question and there’s many different cloud products out there that can help you optimize your business.
The three main advantages of going to the cloud are infrastructure, no upgrade projects, and the power of one.
The first main advantage is, you no longer have to manage the infrastructure associated with an on premise solution. So gone are the days where you are buying databases and servers and networks, to be able to support a finance and accounting system or budgeting and planning application. Also, you no longer need to maintain those things, each database, server, etc is detached and supported to make sure your finance and accounting system is running correctly. All that goes away with the cloud.
The second main reason, why we tell people that the cloud is a great option for them, is no upgrade projects. If you’re used to an old on premise ERP, then you’re used to a big project every 3-4 years where you are upgrading your system from one version to the other; you’re not even sure what benefit you’re getting. These projects tend to be large, complex, non-value add, risky, and also expensive in terms of opportunity cost in what your team can be working on instead of this, or also external cost in bringing people in.
Now the advantage of cloud is there’s no upgrade projects per se, but there’s certainly upgrades. Many of the cloud providers, upgrade their systems, 2-3 times a year, so you get these patches pushed to you. You have to do a small project to evaluate them and integrate them into your solution, and then figure out what the features are that you want to use, going forward. So there are no longer upgrade projects, but there are upgrades where you can improve the application.
The third and final reason is the power of one. In old on premise ERP and budgeting and planning systems, you would buy the software, the hardware and the database and install it inside your environment, or even a managed hosting. But once you install it, it becomes a unique version for you, with its own version and all supporting infrastructure. Plus all the customizations you have on it. You are no longer like any other on premise customer that has that software.
In the cloud, it’s the power of one. Everybody is on the same version of software. This is great for several reasons:
One: system performance. The cloud provider can optimize their software product for one technology stack that they know, that they are running.
Two: it’s great for the user community. Everybody’s on the same version. So everyone can collaborate in conferences and online forums, there’s a great help system in place for many of these products, because everybody is having the exact same user experience that you are.
So there are many great reasons to consider the cloud for your finance applications. Forget costs of managing infrastructure, no more upgrade projects and the power of one.
If you’d like to learn more about the cloud and what it can do for your finance organization, contact us at CrossCountry Consulting. Thank you.