Financial services institutions are now adopting cloud technologies with less skepticism and more enthusiasm, due in part to greater assurance in the areas of data security and compliance. Accenture’s recent banking cloud readiness report finds that banking executives estimate that cloud spend will account for 46 percent of total IT spend over the next three years (versus 29 percent at present).

Follow-on questions then materialize, including:

  • What benefits can cloud technology offer me?
  • Which businesses and functions can reap these benefits first?

To answer some of these questions, the CFO can help the COO and CIO develop the right business case approach for cloud technologies. In fact, in our CFO Reimagined research we found that 81 percent of CFOs see identifying and targeting new value across businesses as one of their main responsibilities.

What benefits can cloud technology offer me?

Adopting cloud can help financial services institutions in the following ways:

  • rationalize operations costs for the future, such as reduced server and maintenance costs for existing or new capacity;
  • respond to changing business and consumer needs, e.g. faster upgrade of systems for planning, budgeting and forecasting applications; and
  • provide the appropriate environment to test innovations swiftly.

Which businesses and functions can reap these benefits first?

Some examples of processes that might be good candidates to move to cloud include financial data and analytics processes, delivering changes in finance processes and technology. These are good candidates as they use a large amount of on-premise data infrastructure, their demands for data services are variable and cloud services can provide more sophisticated analytics than they can currently access.

CFOs can support development of business case frameworks to support the adoption of cloud. These are based on different cloud service providers as well as processes in scope. For example, the Google Cloud Platform™ service offers machine learning capabilities which help in more efficiently predicting liquidity risk profiles. Another example is the use of finance-based cloud solutions for planning, budgeting and forecasting which helps in delivering changes to systems faster.

In the next blog in this series, we will look at how to go about building a business case framework covering cost rationalization, growth and innovation opportunities.  In the meantime, read our CFO Reimagined report in relation to banking and insurance.

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