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A financial perspective on moving to the cloud

Posted by Alandha Scott, Google Apps Team

Editors note: Chief Financial Officers are key decision-makers in any organization’s move to the cloud. For a financial perspective on cloud computing such as Google Apps for Business, visit our United States and Europe websites or download the research reports.

We often hear from CIOs and IT leaders about the benefits they've seen since moving their organizations to the cloud. The role of the CFO in this decision is sometimes overlooked, but it's an important one.

We wanted to learn more about what CFOs consider to be the benefits of moving to the cloud, as well as their concerns. We recently surveyed over 800 CFOs in the United States and Europe, and we learned that almost 81% of our U.S. respondents say that they think completely implementing cloud technology would improve employee productivity, and 71% say it would reduce the time required to bring new products and services to market. In fact, in Europe 67% have adopted or are making plans to adopt cloud computing and 52% of American CFOs surveyed say their companies always include cloud-based systems in their IT decision-making processes.

Some of the benefits CFOs highlight include significant capital and operational savings, better security, and productivity gains that come from the ability to work from any device or together with others using tools like Google Docs. In our webcast, even self-described "archetypal CFOs" highlighted their hopes for improved productivity when employees can work from home or elsewhere, as well as reduced costs when moving to a service model. Furthermore, 69% of surveyed CFOs in Europe believe that cloud computing increases the IT department’s ability to innovate.

But it’s not just this research that shows how CFOs can benefit from adopting cloud technology. Since adopting Google Apps for Business, Milwaukee-based Journal Communications' VP of Finance has used Google spreadsheets to do his company’s acquisition models and financial reporting, saving time and ensuring that decisions are made with team input and the most up-to-date information.