When should you start thinking about Budgeting, Planning and Consolidation in the Cloud?

The Hype is Deafening

There is no bigger buzzword than Cloud these days but what does it mean to the finance organization? In both the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CPM Suites and the Forrester Wave for Financial Performance Management these analyst firms highlight cloud adoption as a growing trend.

 

Reality is More Subtle

The reality is that even with the growing acceptance of cloud, less than 20% of those responding to a FEI/Gartner CFO Technology Study (access requires Gartner login) were actively considering the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) for budgeting, planning and forecasting (19%) or financial reporting and consolidation and reporting (17%). Yet, this same survey reported that “Cloud” was the 4th in the list of highest priority technology initiative for Finance (behind only BI/Performance Management, Integrated Financial Management Applications, and Business Process Management (BPM).


Why is Finance Conflicted?

So why the dichotomy? Only 20% are considering SaaS for CPM but yet Cloud is a top technology initiative. Part of this is because there are several “flavors” of cloud of which SaaS is only one. Another is a lingering (but unwarranted) fear for security of financial information stored in the cloud. A 3rd is that some industries, like financial services, are predisposed to or have regulatory requirements to on-premises/behind the firewall deployment of any systems housing personal or sensitive information. Another major factor is Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). As you do your research be sure to factor in all the costs associated in implementing, running and maintaining the application now and into the future. This includes resources, human and machine, from IT as well as Finance.

 

Its Time to Explore Your Options

But don’t let being in the majority sway you from investigating your cloud options.  There are a lot of compelling reasons to consider moving to the cloud and choosing the right deployment option for your business is an important factor. The different options that are available that you should consider are:

  • Traditional on-premise
  • Hosted cloud
  • Private Cloud
  • Multi-tenant SaaS
  • Hybrid Cloud (part on-prem, part cloud)


Future posts will go into detail about each of these options. So, are you ready to join the 20% that are considering the cloud for CPM / FPM? You should be.



Tagetik Cloud for Finance 

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