Cloud computing gets approval from CFOs

A recent Google-sponsored survey shows that nearly all organizations’ finance leaders expect serious benefits from cloud computing. 

The research comes with a significant caveat — Google is one of the biggest providers of cloud-based applications and services, so it’s unlikely the company would commission a survey that had negative things to say about the Cloud.

However, Google’s cloud computing report shows finance leaders giving a big thumbs up to the Cloud. And with the CFO taking control of the IT department in more companies, that means IT may soon be asked to start using cloud services, if they aren’t doing so already.

Most CFOs (76%) say cloud computing will be important to their business’s success over the next 12 to 18 months. The benefits recognized by finance executives include:

  • Cost savings — 64% of finance executives believe adopting cloud-based systems will help their organizations cut operating costs by 20%, while another 15% anticipate even greater savings. Those savings are expected to come from reductions in the cost of hardware, software, IT labor and back-up operations.
  • Productivity — 81% of respondents believe cloud computing will help improve employee productivity throughout the company. Respondents cited remote access to information and easier collaboration as benefits of cloud services. In addition, 68% said cloud services will increase the performance of the IT department and give IT staff more opportunities to innovate and contribute to the success of the business.
  • Flexibility — In addition those benefits, 36% of CFOs whose organizations have adopted cloud computing services said the move was primarily motivated by a need for greater flexibility.

Of course, cloud computing brings not just benefits, but also risks and challenges. And fortunately for IT, the finance executives who support cloud computing also seem to understand that.

The majority (68%) of CFOs acknowledged that security is a significant challenge when implementing cloud technology.

Finance executives are also concerned about the reliability of cloud services, as 47% identified the risk of service disruptions as a key drawback of cloud computing.

Based on those results, Finance seems to be on the same page as IT when it comes to the Cloud. That should allow the two departments to communicate properly when choosing cloud computing service providers.