About 18 months ago, we talked about a Forrester study that examined the value that CFOs find in the cloud. It was only a matter of time before Google conducted its own study on the relationship CFOs are cultivating with cloud computing. The recent survey gathered responses from 310 U.S. companies with 500 employees or more. Responses were also gathered from a parallel survey in Europe—revealing several similarities in trends.
What kind of benefits do these CFOs value?
- Cost Savings. The majority of respondents who adopted cloud-based systems said their actual savings met or exceeded their expectations in a variety of cost categories--citing that they can focus on utilizing instead of managing their technology.
- Mobility. Cloud systems allow employees to access their work (data and applications) from anywhere. 30% of the respondents said that their expectations for greater employee mobility were exceeded—and many respondents said their motivation to move to the cloud had a lot to do with a need for greater flexibility or improved productivity.
- Increased Capacity for Innovation. The cloud releases IT staff from many of the demands of maintenance and trouble-shooting—freeing them for more creative endeavors that contribute to innovation. 68% of financial executives cited a greater ability for IT to contribute to high-value activities like corporate-strategy setting.
- Security. While data security was cited as one of the most frequent concerns relating to the cloud, participants believed the concerns could be addressed through due diligence and appropriate relationship governance. Meanwhile, many providers are headed in that direction by achieving PCI and SAS-70 compliance.
CFO priorities reveal that Cloud-based solutions make good business sense and provide an insightful and reliable shopping guide.