In an age of digital disruption, the role of Finance Teams is rapidly scaling beyond managing fiduciary performance. Not only are finance leaders being asked to balance the books, more and more they are expected to have a seat at the strategy table and partner with C-Suite on driving transformation.

Finance can at times be pigeonholed as a conservative group within organizations. But for CFOs doing business in a digital space, it’s important to consider the potential risks associated with *not* being open to new ways of thinking about operations, engagement, economics, and product. Consider how new technologies disrupted market leaders and business models across over the past few years alone: digitalization of music services vs makers of music hardware and albums, Uber vs the taxi industry, AirBnb vs the hotel industry. The cloud is transforming the way business is done, and it’s allowing companies more accessibility to a growing range of new capabilities, business intelligence and productivity tools.

  • Streamline business processes – Tools on cloud platforms can help bring order – and insight – out of the seeming chaos of multiple technology solutions and enable seamless scale while adhering to organizational standards. Quite simply, it allows businesses to do what they do best, but with more efficiency. TD Bank, for example, was able to reduce complexity in their technology stack by implementing Office 365, while also seeing a cost savings of 50%.
  • Enable agility – While cloud models may impact financial treatment of costs (CapEx vs. Opex), the associated benefits outweigh the financial hurdles. The speed in standing up new applications and solutions is unparalleled in the cloud – and the cloud minimizes risk of testing new solutions given its consumption based model. TransAlta leveraged PowerApps to create a decision validation tool to minimize operational costs across its business, seeing ROI fall into place within just 2 weeks.
  • Drive Business Transformation – Perhaps the most compelling reason for cloud is the innovation it enables in orgs of all sizes. With its flexibility, scalability and myriad use cases – from mobile to analytics to machine learning and more – Azure is driving transformative new approaches to business challenges and reinventing business models. D+H, a global leader in the fintech industry, is leveraging Azure for developing and scaling new products; According to David Boswell, head of New Lending Products. Azure has enabled them to “change, in a very fundamental way, the way we build and deliver software to our customers.”

For CFOs, the cloud represents an investment that is anchored on organizational futures – the ability to experiment and scale in a consumption and usage-based model in order to prove true value. The Microsoft cloud provides a trusted platform to ensure security, privacy & control, compliance and transparency so that CFOs and their business stakeholders can rest assured that calculated experiments will yield actionable and secure results.   To see how other customers are taking advantage of the cloud, check out our Customer Story website.