CFO, your systems already operate in the Cloud, don't they?

The time of 'sitting back to take another look at everything' is over. It is crucial that companies prioritise the application of technological innovations and take rapid action. The growth of companies who have their software entirely or partially in the Cloud is growing, but not every company is making this transition. And that is a pity, because there appears to be a strong correlation between the use of the Cloud and the growth figures of a company.

Digital innovations follow each other in rapid succession and only companies who react quickly have a good chance of survival. It is therefore of major importance that the application of digital innovation is featured on the management agenda for the company as a whole, and therefore not just from an IT or marketing perspective. The CFO has a crucial role as company advisor here, using hard facts to substantiate effective decision-making. The CFO addresses crucial questions such as: How are we going to position our products and services? In which way will we support this with our systems? How do we best structure our systems to achieve this? Will we transfer our systems to the Cloud or will we stay on-premise, or do we opt for a hybrid solution? And will we calmly wait to see what will happen, or will we then be too late?

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“MKB (SME) Barometer 2016”: the current situation

In order to gain more insight into the current situation we conducted a survey among Dutch companies with 50-250 employees using the “MKB (SME) Barometer 2016”. In this survey we examined what current challenges the CFO faces, and how far the CFO has come in redefining his or her role and demonstrating added value for the company. The survey reveals that the CFO's current challenges are mainly: getting paid on time, a healthy cash flow and useful forecasts, having reports in order and the transformation of the CFO as strategic business partner. There is growing awareness that the CFO must be a sparring partner, however, in practice he or she is not yet where he or she should be. Maybe he or she can learn from the success of other companies that know how to apply new technologies effectively?

Cloud and growth

The Cloud can no longer be called an innovation, but it has not yet been embraced by all companies. And that is a shame, because it appears that companies that operate most or all processes, (accounting, CRM, ERP etc.) in the Cloud show an average of 2.5 times the growth of companies who do not have any systems in the Cloud. The relationship between these figures is of course much more complex than just this fact, so some caution is advised when interpreting this. The lack of Cloud can, for example, also be due to a negative attitude towards innovation in general. This is an attitude which also generally hinders a company's growth. Alternatively, it can be a large, traditional company with very sensitive data where a small growth figure already means a major result.

Are you growing quickly enough?

Despite this, we can certainly consider the correlation between growth and the application of the Cloud as a relevant indicator for the value of Cloud services. This is because companies that embrace the Cloud benefit from better user access, flexibility, scalability, and in many cases an improved infrastructure and security compared to companies that operate their IT environments entirely on-premise. In general, companies that embrace these new - or somewhat less new - technologies appear to handle disruption better than the companies who are still busy discussing and are waiting for concrete evidence. Therefore, ask yourself whether you should be achieving their figures too. Is your company growing quickly enough when you look at all the opportunities you have?

Would you like to learn more about this and other challenges that the CFO faces and success factors for growth? You can read about this in "The CFO of 2017" white paper.