The challenges and benefits of transitioning finance to the cloud

March 1, 2023

Shifting finance to the cloud can create a range of benefits for businesses, but there are also potential challenges to overcome. CFOs interested in moving the finance aspect to the cloud should consider the benefits the move can bring, as well as the potential challenges. Cloud migration of software can reduce maintenance costs and enable further migration in the future. Migrating finance to SaaS can create greater cost savings in the long term and increase automation ability. SaaS, can, however, come with some challenges, such as increased security problems. 

The core benefits of moving finance to the cloud

Improved analytics – Cloud technology typically consists of more sophisticated analytics compared to on-premises software, and these analytical tools can help the finance team improve overall operations. Many companies that have shifted from legacy technologies to the cloud can offer a range of reporting and analytical tools, as well as the ability to customise reports and explore data with other analytical tools.

Enhanced Automation – Cloud technologies enable more automation of processes, saving employees significant time. Many finance businesses, for example, can automate purchase orders and send shipment updates to customers automatically. Automated services can improve overall customer service, compared to relying on people handling various manual tasks.

Reduced operational costs

Businesses are likely to experience reduced operational costs after moving finance to the cloud because cloud software requires less employee contribution. Integrated cloud services typically require less IT management. Employees can use cloud technologies to deliver specialised reports, reducing the pressure on IT teams. Furthermore, businesses with a well-structured cloud environment often save money on platform maintenance expenses. 

Improved decision-making

A cloud finance system can give finance teams more detailed insights into sales performance. Businesses equipped with modern tools can explore various segments which provide insights into sales and understand what is working or what requires attention. More granular data on sales can support businesses in making important purchasing and management decisions.

The challenges of moving finance to the cloud

CFOs and IT leaders must consider the challenges when migrating finance to the cloud.

Employee skills and training 

CFOs should remember that their employees will require additional training on new cloud systems. Finance and IT teams should collaborate to create a plan for upskilling their employees using existing systems affected by the transition to the cloud. CFOs and others associated with the cloud must consider the time and investment associated with new software training and create an appropriate plan in response. 

Employee caution and resistance While legacy services may not be as efficient, some finance professionals will be reluctant to adopt new technologies that impact their workflow. Businesses that have made the transition, often report a certain level of reluctance to technology changes. In some cases, the resistance to adopting cloud technologies has resulted in a complete restructuring of teams. Often in this situation, the result is a reduced, streamlined team capable of utilising the benefits of these new services.

Determining actual savings from the move

CFOs should explore the specific cost savings from moving to the cloud. Businesses often focus on believed cloud cost savings, but costs can escalate if a company fails to manage cloud operations effectively with efficient data management and security procedures. 

CFOs should collaborate with IT to determine the potential savings from moving to the cloud.

Establishing the business case for cloud

The CFO must partner with other senior leaders to determine the business case for moving finance to the cloud. Finance leaders and tech executives should collaborate to determine the most appropriate cloud service. While the finance team should lead the case for moving finance to the cloud, they will benefit by understanding the IT aspect of transitioning from existing systems. IT and Finance can work together to determine the opportunities for automation and develop metrics for understanding financial operations progress. 

Finance and IT working together may help gain support from other company leaders because each side will have the expertise that the other team lacks.


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