As your partner and trusted advisor, TopDown is committed to making 2017 a memorable one by helping you realize the true power of the cloud and the value it brings to your company.
– Mark Hurd, CEO, Oracle
CFOs must become the agents of change.
CFOs have always been the stewards of corporate value. CEOs and lines of business are already increasingly leaning on the CFO for insights, guidance, and reassurance. CFOs are more and more shifting their focus to the long-term implications of different business models and investments. And in 2017 as the adoption of cloud applications becomes ubiquitous, it is vital that the CFO address and champion change management. Transitioning from on-premise to the cloud is a change. Even in the cases where it looks and feels the same, it is still a change. There are security concerns to address. The promise of the ease of accessibility fulfilled. The strategic aspect to be considered: What is the strategy for IT resources? What are the platforms? How much customization vs. what can be used out-of-the box? The bottom line is cloud is going to be here and the forward-thinking CFO is the one who understands how the technology will help them deliver on the business strategy, support innovation, and create new value.
Can finance organizations keep up with the technology opportunities?
The drive to administrative simplicity and long-term cost savings can inadvertently introduce complications across business systems, commit your company to reduced or limited business functionality, and incur unnecessary implementation expense and schedule issues. An informed and experienced partner who can help you navigate the potential benefits and challenges of new cloud offerings will become even more important in 2017.
Before initiating a move to any cloud solution, you need to fully assess the potential integration and communication challenges between the business solution and any related upstream or downstream solutions whether they are based in the cloud or in on-premise software. The critical systems that reside in differing platforms will necessitate hybrid approach expertise to produce effective cloud-to-on-premise and cloud-to-cloud integration solutions. The maturity of cloud applications should also be a consideration given that many current on-premise solutions are either not yet available in the cloud, or their feature set is not yet as mature as their software predecessor.
customization vs. out-of-the box
Your implementation approach should be specific to the cloud platform. Unlike traditional software implementations that are designed to assess and meet a high degree of custom or client specific business functionality, the same approach can be wasteful and inefficient when deploying a cloud solution and its typically reduced or restricted feature set. Cloud solution implementations can and should also be more focused and user expectations need to be managed in those cases where functionality is not equivalent to legacy software systems. Cloud solutions can have a custom component to them, but there are specific costs (and limitations) to consider before pushing the envelope of the delivered applications.
All cloud solution approaches need to keep the future in mind when architecting and deploying new systems. Though newly minted cloud applications often possess sparse functionality resulting from their rush to market, they will over time, mature to meet and potentially exceed the functionality of their on-premise software variants. Hence, it will be important to craft solutions that can take advantage of future developments and avoid costly custom development for functionality that will eventually become redundant or incompatible with future releases.
A Hybrid Approach
The cloud is mature and secure enough that its numerous benefits easily outweigh any limitations. That said, cloud solution approaches need to keep the future in mind when architecting and deploying new systems. Though newly minted cloud applications often possess sparse functionality resulting from their rush to market, they will over time, mature to meet and potentially exceed the functionality of their on-premise software variants. Hence, it will be important to craft solutions that can take advantage of future developments and avoid costly custom development for functionality that will eventually become redundant or incompatible with future releases. To keep pace with the rapidly changing marketplace, many companies are taking a hybrid approach, moving to the cloud in an incremental manner, and then fully migrating at a later date once cloud-based EPM applications better meet their needs.
Regardless of your specific company needs, when done correctly, the cloud approach to business systems offers a great deal of promise to reduce the cost and increase the simplicity of managing your business systems. However, meeting the promise of the cloud platform will be much more beneficial if you manage to avoid the many subtle and significant consequences specific to this migration path.
The TopDown team is looking forward to working with you in 2017 to help your company with EPM Cloud and Hybrid Cloud implementations.
TopDown Consulting Cloud Resources
Oracle PBCS Case Study
TopDown PBCS Baseline Data Sheet
Essbase in the Cloud
The Essential Overview
Transform Your Business With Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service
Oracle EPM in the Cloud What’s New & What’s Ahead