Risks/rewards of moving treasury to the cloud.

Author:Stark, Bob

Cloud computing is ubiquitous among consumers and small and middle-market businesses (SMBs), and is rapidly infiltrating day-to-day enterprise operations. Yet chief financial officers (CFOs) and treasurers are often slower than their colleagues across business units to bring their systems into the cloud.

The value of real-time software-as-a-service (SaS) solutions has been proven by many businesses that have experienced the benefits of easy deployment a subscription-based pricing model and multi-tenancy. Despite the prevalence of cloud computing in almost all other business functions, finance departments have been resistant. A company's financial operations are too critical to risk being left in the technology rear-view mirror.

With cloud technology now a mainstream option for other corporate functions, why are CFOs and treasurers holding back?

Treasury Temperature Check

Two critical impeding factors in the adoption of SaaS-based treasury management solutions are culture and past experience.

The SaaS business model is a radical departure from what most CFOs and treasurers have previously used, with expensive custom software rollouts having been commonplace for enterprise platforms, such as treasury management. Companies of all revenue brackets have typically been dependent on spreadsheets as the primary management tool for complex treasury activities, such as cash forecasting and risk management. Many have continued to use such manual processes despite the increasing availability of sophisticated treasury management solutions.

Though this may suffice for small businesses with relatively simple financial ecosystems, the complex nature of most companies' financial landscape renders spreadsheets burdensome, incomprehensive and, most importantly, prone to human error.

Treasury departments are historically known for their risk-adverse attitudes, especially when it comes to technology. III-founded concerns about hosting vital corporate information on third-party platforms can further increase this reluctance to act. Misconceived risks have fueled "no" decisions by many would-be adopters, at least until more information was gathered.

With more information now available, not surprisingly, many industry professionals expect new treasury installations to be cloud-based in the coming years. With broad adoption on the horizon, it appears that the treasury landscape is on the brink of a major cloud computing paradigm shift.

Debunking Cloud...

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