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CFOs and CIOs need to collaborate on cloud

Cloud decisions go beyond the IT department, says Deloitte and Touche report

CFOs and CIOs need to collaborate on cloud
The CFO needs to align various stakeholders and partner with the CIO for successful cloud adoption, says Babb.

CFOs and CIOs should work closely together to determine cloud computing strategies, according to a new report from Deloitte and Touche.

The company says that the decision on cloud computing is broader than the information technology department and requires a productive working relationship between the CIO and the CFO, to best determine what and when to move to cloud computing.

The CFO Insights report emphasises the role of the CFO in becoming a catalyst for cloud adoption while executing on strategic and financial objectives at the same time as ensuring an intelligent risk structure. In turn, the CIO, with the backing of the technology department, can increase their visibility as valued service providers to the broader organisation.

Commenting on the report James Babb, partner, CFO Program Leader, Deloitte Middle East said: "Aligning the various stakeholders is an important task for the CFO in partnering with the CIO to adopt a cloud computing environment in an organisation. In addition, a cloud computing environment will often allow a CFO to know better the true cost of the IT function where the running costs of applications are often hard to determine with precision.

"Cloud computing has real benefits to the finance function in particular where efficiency and productivity gains are available, Babb added.

The report said that unapproved or unsanctioned use of cloud solutions was common, as different business departments signed up for cloud independently, which may meet the needs of the business user, but also created concerns around where data is stored and its security, governance issues and service issues. Instead the CFO and CIO should work together to determine what to move to cloud, when to move it, and how to transition. Organisations should assess their ‘cloud comfort level' to identify what type of applications are candidates for the cloud and which will not be moved until the distant future.

Applications should be assessed on three criteria - customisation required, process complexity, and application risk. The less customisation required to align the application with business processes and requirements; the less inter-relation between organisational processes and the technology platform; and the less the sensitivity of the data or the criticality of the application to the organisation, the sooner can the application be moved to the cloud with less risk.

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