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September 2013

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What Finance Managers Need to Know About Moving to the Cloud

Large organizations are increasingly considering enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications in the cloud, and a majority of finance managers believe that the cloud deployment model offers top-quality business solutions and faster access to line-of-business (LOB) software than traditional strategies.

According to Stephen Martin, director of Dynamic Markets, an independent research organization, “While 67 percent of finance departments are using cloud applications, their priorities are the needs of their lines of business, not a desire to get into the cloud.”

The findings are based on an in-depth report by Dynamic Markets titled “Cloud for Business Managers: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” The firm surveyed more than 1,300 LOB managers, including finance managers in 17 countries, in a study commissioned by Oracle.

A new webcast, “2013 Global Research Findings: What Finance Managers Need to Know When Moving to the Cloud,” analyzes the findings from an office of finance perspective, with commentary by Martin and David Krauss, Oracle’s senior director of product marketing for cloud.

Cloud Concerns Remain
In addition to business benefits, the finance managers who participated in the survey were aware of the challenges of public clouds, such as the need to integrate cloud-based ERP applications with other enterprise systems. Lack of integration can cause project deadlines to be missed and lead to staff downtime, they also noted.

“Of all the different business audiences we interviewed, the finance officers were most sensitive to having an integrated cloud experience,” Krauss says. “That requires good reporting and a better view across the organization. When finance managers understand the different components of the cloud that impact the rest of the organization, that’s when positive results really start to happen.”

Eighty-eight percent of the finance directors also placed a high priority on having anytime access to cloud-based systems via mobile devices. “They want to respond to businesses that are global, in multiple time zones, and that use multiple platforms,” Martin says.

For more insights into the impact of clouds on finance organizations view the webcast and download the full report.

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