Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

12 Reasons to Celebrate Finance in the Cloud

Rudolph Lukez
Director, ERP Product Marketing, Oracle

Like many finance and technology professionals, I enjoy numbers. So perhaps it’s no surprise that “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is one of my favorite holiday songs. Popularized in 1909 by Frederic Austin, its musical track is derived from 1700s British folk music and French chants, and its lyrics may have been written as early as 1558.

Each holiday season, several financial firms calculate the price of each item noted in the lyrics. One frequently referenced annual analysis is from financial services firm PNC. For this holiday season, PNC estimates a package price of $34,558—nearly double the initial $18,846 first calculated in 1984.

Which had me wondering: could there be 12 days in the cloud? I certainly can’t carry a tune (I was tossed from middle school choir because my singing was beyond bad) but nonetheless I have collected twelve items to represent the cloud over 12 days.

So, altogether now: “On the first day of Christmas, my CFO gave to me…”

  1. One enterprise architecture – Start with a comprehensive single database in one comprehensive finance cloud as the single source of truth. Since it is such a clear benefit, it is important to convey this theme with each cumulative stanza.
  2. Two ways to work – With all cloud applications, you can work with your desktop or be continually connected with your favorite mobile device, including smartphones and tablets.
  3. Three report categories – Oracle cloud applications deliver revolutionary reporting to meet the three major categories of reporting: operational, financial & regulatory, and management.
  4. Four-letter acronyms – The cloud has spawned many four-letter acronyms including SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, DaaS and others. This is perhaps because, collectively, we’ve run out of TLAs (three letter acronyms).
  5. Five core traits – There are five important characteristics that define every modern enterprise cloud solution: complete, data-driven, personalized, connected, and secure.
  6. Six modern business trends – Businesses of all sizes are looking at cloud, IoT, analytics, mobility, social media, and big data to fuel their futures.
  7. Seven next-generation technologies – The cloud is the delivery mechanism for these seven emerging technologies: adaptive intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), blockchain, intelligent chatbots, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA).
  8. Eight KPIs for cloud ROI CIO published eight impactful KPIs for calculating ROI with a cloud project. They include speed of change, TCO, provisioning, margin/cost, dynamic use, risk and compliance, utilization and professional skills improvement. If you’d like to take a crack at estimating your own ROI, try our cloud benefits calculator.
  9. Nine EPM benefits – In our research, “EPM Top Trends for 2017,” users reported nine major benefits of moving from spreadsheets to enterprise performance management—including improved security, more accuracy, better data governance and staying current on technology.
  10. Ten reasons for a cloud move – There are ten solid reasons to move from on-premises systems to modern cloud applications. From hardware to licenses, Your Complete Guide to Modern ERP has a Top 10 Letterman-style list, plus significant other cloud information.
  11. Eleven project success factors – An Oracle-sponsored survey conducted by MIT Technology Review noted eleven factors — seven deemed critical — for a successful on-premises to cloud project.
  12. Twelve subscription months – It is the crowning achievement of cloud applications (and the end of the song): the conversion of expensive fixed capital costs to a lower, flexible, monthly operational expense billed as a subscription service. Like a monthly utility bill, the cloud is easier on a company’s budget and bottom line in comparison to on-premises software.

This season, when you are singing, humming or listening to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” during holiday errands, stuffing stockings, or hanging decorations, maybe a few items from my cloud list will happily wander into the popular centuries-old song and modernize the lyrics. And in the new year, you might want to take a new look at some of the benefits your finance team stands to reap by moving ERP and EPM to the cloud.

Happy holidays to you and your colleagues—oh, and you’re welcome for the earworm. 

How many benefits can your finance team reap from the cloud? Calculate them now.

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