Hundreds of companies are now completing their year-end, quarter end, and month-end close and reporting processes. This can be a stressful process, running for weeks, probably even months, if you need to include the creation of year-end regulatory filings, year-end audits, and tax filings. But with the right tools and processes in place, the year-end close and reporting process can be less stressful and painful.

If you’ve paid any attention at all to the latest business technology news and trends, then you’ve undoubtedly heard that Cloud technology is taking over the business world. As the world becomes more global and interconnected, having instant access to business data and information is becoming more important than ever and having access to the same tools and applications you have at work is crucial in today’s fast-paced business environment.

With a Cloud-based software approach, business executives, financial leaders and sales personnel can access the data and information they need to perform their jobs properly.

When you look at the benefits of using Cloud-based budgeting software, it’s easy to see why companies want to move to the Cloud. Cloud-based solutions require less IT work than traditional, on-premises solutions, freeing up your IT department to focus on more important matters or eliminating the need for in-house IT altogether. Cloud solutions are flexible and easy to use, and most solutions can be accessed with any device that can connect to the Internet. However, the main allure of adopting a Cloud-based solution is the cost savings it offers both small and large businesses.

Apart from this reason, there are three powerful motivators driving an appetite for moving toward a Cloud-based solution and looking at a system replacement, upgrade or enhancement:

  1. Saving costs with systems that are too expensive to run or upgrade
  2. Moving away from current systems that are too fragmented
  3. Gaining access to big data analytics

Cost Savings in the Cloud

Cloud computing can create a significant return on a company’s investment – savings in licencing costs, administrative costs, energy costs – freeing up capital and people to innovate on new ideas.

A 2013 study by Rackspace, in conjunction with the Manchester Business School and Vanson Bourne, found that 88% users highlighted the fact that moving to the cloud saved them money, including reducing the need for their IT team to maintain an internal infrastructure. Moreover, these savings enabled them to focus on strategy and innovation by reinvesting it back into the business.

And it’s not just the running costs – adopting a cloud-based solution means that you can minimise your capital costs. Running your own servers requires up-front capital costs. But in the world of cloud-computing, financing that capital investment can be avoided, freeing up that capital so it can be saved or invested elsewhere in the business.

An additional cost that can be saved by moving to a cloud solution is that you no longer need to buy more hardware than you need in order to build in redundancies in case of failure. In extreme cases, you need to duplicate everything. Having spare hardware lying idle is an expensive way to maximise uptime.

Integrated Solutions

Cloud computing is also a compelling option for businesses of all sizes as it offers low cost of entry and ownership and faster time to market compared to traditional on-premise business software and servers. This allows the business to reassess whether its existing business applications footprint for finance, sales, marketing, customer service, etc. will effectively support the growth of the business. Many businesses that started out with ad hoc, standalone applications will determine they need to upgrade to a more flexible cloud-based platform to support continued growth.

A note of caution – It’s important to recognise that while the cloud model resolves many problems of on-premise software ‘fragmentation’, adopting cloud applications as standalone silos will simply introduce inefficiencies, integration challenges and IT and administrative overhead of their own. To avoid these limitations, it is essential to have a collection of cloud applications that are integrated around a single codebase and database, and which contain an integrated business process perspective.

Analytics & The Cloud

The world is experiencing a data explosion. As a result, today’s companies are processing an astonishing 1,000 times more data than they did only a decade ago. On top of this, thanks to the proliferation of social media, 80 percent of the world’s data is unstructured, an unorganised chaotic conglomeration of tweets, likes, videos, photos, blogs—you name it—that cannot be analysed by traditional methods. Moreover, there are a number of ‘Big Data’ analytics platforms that have the capability to analyse all available data, both structured and unstructured. And it’s the cloud that makes the whole process easier and more accessible to both large and small enterprises.

Executives with cloud experience said in a recent IDG survey that cloud analytics offers more benefits than on-premises analytics offerings. The most common use cases cited in the survey included incorporating cloud-based analytics into operational applications such as customer relationship management, supply chain management and HR systems, along with the ability to analyse cloud data sources.

Conclusion

Cloud based applications are having a profound effect on the finance function, saving money as well as driving increased efficiency and convenience. Cloud computing eliminates the inefficiencies of spreadsheets in budgeting, planning and forecasting processes by enabling organisations to centralise their business models, implement standard processes, improve collaboration and control, as well as accelerate the budget cycle and time to decision. With lower costs, enhanced convenience and improved budget performance, smart CFOs can have their cake and eat it.

Jedox Cloud

For a state-of-the-art cloud-based Budgeting, Forecasting and Planning solution, Jedox Cloud provides you with fast and cost-effective alternative. Within the Jedox Cloud you can enjoy full Jedox functionality on-demand, with: No hardware, no software downloads, no facilities, no setup and configuration – just one Jedox cloud for all your planning, analysis and reporting.

Jedox makes your transition to cloud Budgeting and Planning easy. Recognised by Gartner, BARC, Butler Analytics, and CeBIT, Jedox gives you self-service analytics and advanced budgeting, planning and forecasting capabilities, all on the cloud. You gain a scaleable, cost-effective, and secure reporting, analysis, and planning

Author: Darren Bindert