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How Cloud computing is reducing the grip of IT on finance
Sometimes we can get caught up in the hype of terms such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things and not realize that disruptive technologies are already in the market that can lead to enormous time and money savings. In order to achieve this, we need to be able to revolutionize the way we look at traditional roles within the company and the finance and IT roles are perfect examples of this.
It used to be that every technology related request was handled by an obscure back office and financial employees had to wait for days for a full financial report which often lacked enough reporting or customization capabilities. Also, due to the many financial silos, it was extremely difficult to get a full picture of the company’s health and directly compare the results within the different units.
IT personnel were also tasked with gathering all the information and making sense of it, which also reduced the independence of the finance departments, which had to believe in these numbers as if they were the word of God or ask for more details and endure another grinding waiting time.
Cloud computing is more than just a way to save money on physical servers. It allows instant collaboration and information sharing within different teams and gives the financial user access to the data in previously unheard-of levels of granularity (allowing users to access information at the customer and product sold level). Managers can now access entire P&Ls by the click of an app on the phone at home and can easily navigate between the different departments, taking just seconds instead of days.
To fully take advantage of the cloud, companies need to invest in the technical skills of their financial teams and foster a culture of collaboration. The data must also be dealt in a more standard format and be aligned in language, because so often every department can have different terminology for the same terms.
Companies willing to adapt to this can take the lead early one and help set the standard for this new world of integrated finance.
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