Cloud Apps Should Bring Finance and IT Together at the Right Time

A Finance-owned cloud solution gives the department the freedom to make decisions fast—but involving IT at the right time and stage makes such projects more likely to succeed.

Although 90 percent of businesses are already using the cloud for various mission critical processes, implementation continues at a slow, cautious rate. Take a recent survey by Softchoice, which found “most organizations have only progressed toward [cloud] migration on a limited or experimental basis.”

Some of the relatively cautious progress can be attributed to now-debunked myths revolving around the cloud: security, control, or the threat of “noisy neighbors,” among others.

Balancing Finance and IT involvement

All myths aside, the Softchoice survey discovered the main obstacle to more widespread cloud adoption the inclination of many managers to make cloud investments without involving CIOs or the IT department.

This is nothing new.

Especially with cloud and SaaS services, it’s easier for Finance and other departments to adopt new solutions while bypassing IT entirely. Such a practice is even encouraged by some vendors–so CFOs and their teams can make decisions more quickly–but in the early stages of cloud application deployment, Finance can benefit immensely from IT’s insights and involvement.

KPMG suggests as much, sharing their finding that IT involvement at adoption stages is a priority in any tech purchase, especially so when it comes to the cloud:

Acting in silos or ignoring important stakeholders is another common mistake companies new to the cloud can make. Cloud services provide the business with the opportunity to contract directly, without the involvement of IT in some cases. When a particular function of the business…forms contracts directly with cloud vendors, it can often break more than it fixes.

The case for timely collaboration

Instead of avoiding IT, business managers are better off collaborating to ensure successful cloud deployment and integration. Although in recent years Finance has increasingly circumvented IT to buy technology on its own, there are signs collaboration is starting to improve.

In one of its surveys, Recruiting firm Robert Half Technology found that 77% of CFOs surveyed said they are now spending more time talking to the CIO or the most senior IT manager when implementing cloud solutions.

These new, collaborative initiatives give IT a new important yet unobtrusive leadership role and Finance an imperative to communicate with IT at a much needed time.

As finance applications continue their move to the cloud, “IT can become the knowledgeable voice to advise on the proper balance between better functionality versus the importance of system integration and the ease of reporting across a number of different platforms,” writes Patrick Fenton, head of financial management at KPMG in the U.K.

In other words, the right degree and timing of collaboration between Finance and IT can make all the difference between heaven and hell in the cloud.