The survey found interest in cloud computing to be high, but only 37 percent of financial managers agreed or strongly agreed with the premise that hosted applications could help them reduce costs. They also remained unconvinced that cloud could help them reduce the time needed to deploy new tools that would facilitate faster analysis and improved business planning.

The study was commissioned by BlackLine, a provider of finance control and automation software. When asked whether they thought cloud-based applications could help reduce the costs and the time needed to deploy tools that allow faster analysis, budgeting, forecasting and risk management, 55 percent of respondents were neutral or agreed only somewhat. Just 37 percent agreed or strongly agreed cloud-based applications could assist.

"Clearly more needs to be done to explain how cloud-based platforms can cut costs and reduce application deployment times," said Todd Hunt, BlackLine's vice president and Asia-Pacific general manager. "Finance managers risk missing out on the benefits being enjoyed by other parts of their organisations.

He said that the SaaS model puts less of a burden on IT departments that already have too many demands placed on them. "Along with access to comprehensive security, back-up, disaster recovery and support services, a move to the cloud would see accounting departments spend less time on managing their applications and more time on managing their core business.”

The survey found many finance managers believe more needs to be done when it comes to providing accurate and timely information to senior managers and line of business heads. Of those surveyed, 38 percent reported their teams still spent between 26 and up to 50 percent of their time collecting, entering and validating information.

Thirty four percent said the time required to compile data undermined its quality while 31 percent pointed to a lack of IT resources as a reason information requests could be difficult to fulfil.

However despite these frustrations, and the relatively slow uptake of cloud-based applications, the survey did find an appetite for change within the majority of finance departments. "Of those surveyed, 66 percent agreed or strongly agreed that their finance team would like to improve the flow and usability of information for lines of business and to improve the decision making of senior management," it said.

On the down side: "While the benefits of streamlining systems and workflows is understood, limited IT and staff resources and a lack of understanding of the benefits of cloud computing are proving to be roadblocks.” // "); // ]]>

BitCloud BitCloud is a leader in cloud services and managed IT services for growing and mid-market businesses. With over 17 years experience, BitCloud helps you run your business with:

  • Managed Cloud Services that save you time, improve productivity and reduce IT costs
  • End-to-end, scalable and managed IT services that grow with your business – no contracts
  • Custom Business Continuity Plans that give you added security and peace of mind
Get more out of your IT and get on the cloud with a free trial
Click for more news on Cloud Computing