Monday, 16 October 2017 08:43

73% of CFOs now trust the cloud for financial data: Adaptive Insights research


Cloud performance monitoring and analytics provider Adaptive Insights has released its latest CFO Indicator report showing 73% of chief financial officers trust the cloud for financial data, up from 33% three years ago.

This result reflects a significant technology shift for finance, which Adaptive Insights says is traditionally one of the last functions within an enterprise to embrace the cloud.

The report explores the confidence levels of CFOs relative to data and technology, and their efforts to implement a "single source of truth".

The concept of a single source of truth is a prized goal within enterprise architecture, reflecting a state where information is keyed once, flows automatically between systems where it is needed, and for any specific piece of data there is a known, unique system that can be pointed to as the master record for that data, even if it is replicated to other systems.

The mood change of 33% confidence in the cloud for financial data, only three years ago, to 73% today reflects a major tipping point in business thinking. This data is an indicator that enterprises will accelerate cloud adoption and continue to reduce on-premises spending.

“The cloud enables a level of data access that Finance teams need in order to meet the demand for accurate, real-time information from across the enterprise,” said Robert. S. Hull, founder and chairman of Adaptive Insights. “This quarter’s report validates that CFOs are embracing cloud technology for their financial data. However, despite this shift, the majority of CFOs still do not have a single source of truth for their organisation, delaying decisions. This lack of agility results in documented losses in revenue and business opportunities.”

Additional findings in the report show:

  1. CFOs expect an increase of data volume over the next five years ranging from 25% to 50%.
  2. Stakeholders will look to finance to track down an increasing number of data points to make decisions, with many of these residing outside finance.
  3. Only 35% of CFOs are confident they have access to the financial and operational data they require to make critical business decisions in a timely manner.
  4. Organisations continue to rely on legacy technologies like spreadsheets that results in siloed data — across HR, supply chain, facilities and external market data — which must be manually collected and aggregated leaving little time for analysis, as well as creating distrust in the numbers.
  5. Twenty-one percent of CFOs are not currently working on a single source of truth, an increase from 17% two years ago. CFOs cited their reasons as the expense, legacy solutions and data sources. This finding is a concern because without a holistic view of the organisations CFOs will be challenged to deliver the business insights expected from them.

Adaptive Insights' CFO Indicator is an ongoing report highlighting what is top-of-mind for CFOs, as well as identifying key attributes to define the strategic CFO. The report surveyed 255 CFOs globally for 19 days ending 28 August. This report, and previous reports, are online.

2017CFOIndicatorQ3 infographic

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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