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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

Resistance to the Cloud: Debunking Three Common Myths

Guest Author

Guest Post by Sheila Dietsch

When you’re traveling around the world, meeting with customers and prospects, there are times when you feel as if you’re hearing the same recording again and again.

Everybody says they’d love to be in the cloud, but that’s when “the excuse parade” begins:

  • “I’m concerned about my financial data in the cloud.”
  • “I have too many integrations to move into the cloud.”
  • “I’m highly customized. I can’t just throw it all away and go with a cloud solution.”

I’m not about to just let this parade pass me by without addressing each and every one of these concerns and debunking them one by one.

#1: “I’m concerned about my financial data in the cloud.”

Look, I get it. Regardless of where your data resides, CFOs are going to be concerned about the security of their data in the cloud. So how do you debunk that? Frankly there are competitors I wouldn’t trust with my car keys, let alone my data.

It’s all about the provider you choose. This means doing your homework. You want a provider who will not just be there today, but will be there years from now.

Oracle has been in the secure data management business for close to 40 years. The CIA trusted us with their data, as did the NSA. Oracle has been managing enterprise clouds for over 15 years. We have more than 70 million users and handle over 33 billion transactions a day.

A company of our size and experience offers many advantages. We have enormous economies of scale. We own every layer of the technology stack—from applications in the cloud, to the database, to the hardware it runs on—and we secure the data at every single layer. As CEO Mark Hurd put it so well, we do security right down to the silicon level. In addition to securing your data, we also provide embassy-grade physical security at our cloud data centers, to guard against attacks on the infrastructure that powers our cloud.

Look. Your company may be pretty good at security, but this is what we do every single day. We have the knowledge, the experience and the commitment to security you’re just not going to find at your own company.

So, if you’re really having worries about security, then your best bet is to embrace Oracle sooner rather than later, just like 10 of the top 10 SaaS providers who are powering their business with Oracle.

“I have too many integrations to move into the cloud.”

Osterman Research did a study that found the average organization has 14.3 cloud solutions. Ouch!

The study specifically found “there is a significant market of organizations that would like to consolidate provision of their various application solutions into as few vendors as possible.”

In another study, this one by Dynamic Markets, of those companies with multiple cloud solutions, 68% of cloud adopters attempted integration, but 86% of these encountered negatives along the way, with 55% having tried and failed.

There is a business impact when all of your information is stuck in silos. You can’t unlock the power of your organization if your information isn’t being shared and leveraged across departments.

What is the impact to the business if ERP is not connected?  

The consequences are clear:

  • Inaccurate data for your business
  • Inability to gauge overall business performance, make proper business decisions
  • Unable to innovate quickly – the competition gets ahead of you!

There really is an elegant solution. Take advantage of a cloud suite provider who has already done the integration, so you don’t have to stitch all the solutions together. Oracle is a provider which has done exactly that. We have a long list of customers who have embraced our cloud suite and are thriving as a result.

Organizations need to be bold. They need to shed old ways of doing business and adopt new ones, where best practices are built into solutions and all aspects of ERP are connected and communicate seamlessly.

While I am a strong believer in adoption of an integrated suite of solutions and companies hitting the re-start button, we have found there are many other hybrid solutions that can work.

I’ve worked with many companies that begin their journey to the cloud by implementing one or two solutions around the edge… to solve a specific business problem. Typically, these companies are so pleased with the result, they come back for more cloud solutions.

We also have many customers where headquarters stays on their current solution, but their subsidiary or their new division or their acquired company goes entirely in the cloud. Using the subsidiary as a cloud test case, they learn how effectively a suite solution can turbocharge a business.

Either way, dipping that first toe into the integrated cloud waters is usually a prelude to fully diving in.

Customization Issues

Finally, let’s speak to those companies who have customized their current ERP solutions.

They’re talking about customizations surrounding things like user experience, branding, workflows, reporting and integrations. Funny thing is, in the cloud, these really aren’t customizations at all.

They are actually configurations, or the tailoring of SaaS solutions to improve the user experience. These are the kind of things you can continue to do in the cloud. In fact, we want you to define your accounting structure. We want you to make your own queries and reports. The cloud enables you to personalize, configure, and integrate—all of which are upgrade-safe in the cloud.

When you absolutely need to make extensions to the platform, use Oracle’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) to create apps that fit seamlessly with the underlying solution. A university client of ours did just that, using the Oracle development platform to build an app that tracks scarce parking spots on campus. It was the perfect marriage of SaaS and PaaS.

Many customizations were made over a decade ago. They were made because the functionality didn’t exist in the underlying software, at that point in time. Now, with the passage of time, as well as the rate of innovation available in the cloud, this functionality is part of today’s ERP applications.

In most cases, Oracle’s modern cloud solutions are vastly superior to the patchwork of customizations performed internally by ERP users in the past. Oracle ERP Cloud has modern best business practices built in, and is fully integrated across the suite.

So—with all these myths debunked—what are you waiting for before you reach to the cloud?

A rainy day?

If you’d like to get started, I recommend reading our CFO guidebook, “Best Practices for ERP Cloud Migrations.”

Sheila Dietsch is executive director on the global sales support team for Oracle ERP Cloud.

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