What CFOs Need to Consider Before Moving to the Cloud

As the cloud continues to transform the IT landscape, it’s more than just infrastructure that is changing. Where CIOs and IT Directors once reigned, chief financial officers and other financial decision-makers are becoming more involved in the choices made about  IT infrastructure, applications, and cloud hosting. 

In search of transparency and cost-saving opportunities, the CFO’s cloud priorities may differ from their more tech-focused teammates. And as their participation in these conversations evolve, it’s crucial financial officers understand the big picture of these environments. With  guidance from our own CFO, we’ve identified five critical considerations for CFOs before migrating their organization to the cloud:

Has the business been defined?

It’s important for the CFO to evaluate if use of the cloud is appropriate for the business and/or specific groups within the company from a financial standpoint, as pricing models can differ across several different options. This means taking into consideration what the organization needs now and in the future with regards to cloud services – often in collaboration with IT decision-makers like the CIO and IT Director –  and ensuring that financial planning and priorities are aligned to the adoption of such services.

What is the difference between the various cloud offerings?

Like any business decision, you can’t make a smart choice without proper knowledge and understanding of your options. In this situation, CFOs need to be educated on the many different types of cloud options available. First and foremost, it’s imperative to understand the differences between public, private, and hybrid cloud structures.

  • Public: On-demand and fully outsourced pay-as-you-go model.
  • Private: Outsourced or on-premise environment, with dedicated servers and resources.
  • Hybrid: Combining both public cloud and private cloud services.

Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks that can affect cost, management, and growth opportunities. For example, opting for a public cloud solution may allow a business more flexibility and room to scale, whereas a private cloud may offer greater security and options for customization. Going for a mix with the hybrid cloud may present the best of both worlds, though this option is typically the most complex solution to manage. 

What security and compliance requirements are needed?

Not all cloud environments are designed the same way and not all meet industry-specific compliance and security obligations. Before making any moves toward a cloud migration, the CFO must understand what security and network features need to be present to mitigate risk and satisfy compliance requirements for their industry and organization. 

What are we prepared to sacrifice for one cloud offering over another? 

The CFO needs to ensure all security and compliance needs are met and factor those requirements into the overall cost structure of the cloud solution. They also need to understand what financial and regulatory risks their business can be exposed to by choosing one cloud offering over another. 

Are the CFO and the CIO on the same page?

To make a decision that benefits the entire organization, the CIO needs to work hand-in-hand with the CFO to help them understand the technology perspective of the cloud and hosting decision. The CFO needs to be comfortable with the technical requirements needed, and approach the decision from a cost, risk, and technology perspective. 

With organizations spending more and more on this business-critical technology, it’s no wonder the CFO is becoming a key player in company cloud discussions. By 2022, the global public cloud computing services market is predicted to pass $300 billion in revenues. Ensuring CFOs are well-versed in the how and what of cloud will be essential to swift and effective IT transformation in the cloud.  Contact us here for answers to your toughest cloud solution questions.