SIIA’s Deciphering Finance: The New CFO: Cloud Financial Officer

CloudabilityThe following is an excerpt from SIIA’s Deciphering Finance, a publication cataloging finance strategies and best practices. The goal of the book is to provide solid guidance to help finance executives understand how these new technology trends can benefit finance departments by tapping into the minds of SIIA member executives.

Today′s post is brought to you by Mat Ellis, Founder of Cloudability.

Traditionally, technology projects have been treated as if all of the features, benefits and costs can all be accurately defined right at the start. Lengthy ROI and business model reviews, combined with the waterfall method of project management have managed to reinforce our belief in this lie. All too often we recognize late in the project life cycle that our technology needs have changed and so we scramble to catch up, resulting in late delivery, lower than forecast ROI, cost overruns and, in the worst cases, abandoned projects. The cost of this inefficiency, both measurable, and in terms of lost opportunity, customers, market share, etc., are significant, and getting higher as we come to rely more and more on technology in every area of business.

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Save the Date for Deciphering Finance, December 2013

The Software & Information Industry Association, the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, today announced a new event, Deciphering Finance, for finance executives to discuss growth strategies for software companies. This one day event for CFOs and other finance executives will help executives think more strategically, enhance their finance teams, and maximize the performance of their company.

When: December 4, 2013
Where: Boston, MA
Who:  Chief Financial Officers, Chief Audit Officers, Presidents/CEOs, Finance Leaders, Audit Committee Members, and Investors

“The role of finance executives has changed and it is more important than ever for finance teams to better align with other departments,” says Rhianna Collier, Vice President of the SIIA Software Division.  “Deciphering Finance will provide an opportunity for executives to learn how to be more strategic, improve risk management, and enhance their ability to make the best decisions for their company’s future.”

For sponsorship inquiries, please contact Rhianna Collier, Vice President of the Software Division.

New SIIA Report: Software CFOs Say Cloud is Now Vital to Finance Operations

The SIIA Software Division released a new publication today featuring commentary and strategic guidance from the chief financial officers and other leading executives of nine software companies, including NetSuite, Avangate and Adaptive Planning. The report, called “Deciphering Finance,” provides unique perspectives on the dramatic changes that technology is bringing to corporate finance, with a particular focus on the impact of cloud computing.

To assemble “Deciphering Finance,” SIIA approached some of the software industry’s most innovative financial executives. Participants discuss how technology is re-shaping the finance industry and corporate finance operations, and most also specifically address the impact of  cloud computing – including the use of cloud-based tools for new strategies, business models, data analytics and even cash flow management. The resulting publication is a resource for finance executives looking to better utilize technology to keep their companies competitive in the marketplace. Grant Thornton LLP provided questions for participating executives as well as an analysis of their responses.

While it’s obvious that technology is changing corporate finance, it’s much more difficult to get a handle on how the benefits of these changes can be fully realized. We brought together some of the smartest, most tech savvy finance executives to sort out the value of cloud computing and other tech developments, and provide real-world insight and guidance. If there’s one message contained in ‘Deciphering Finance,’ it’s that CFOs can leave behind their static spreadsheets and find a host of new opportunities on the cloud.

In his contribution to the report, Ron Gill – CFO of NetSuite – writes:

“A substantial gap has opened up between the goals of the finance organization—such as establishing clear business visibility, maintaining an effective internal control structure and process, and ensuring efficient GAAP conformance – and what IT can provide from the current systems. There simply isn’t any budget left for innovation. Cloud delivery changes this equation because businesses are able to recoup 50% or more of their IT application operating costs by making the transition. No more servers, databases, backups, failover, patches, and upgrades. It frees up IT resources to move from an operational role to a strategic role.”

In his foreword to “Deciphering Finance, Steven Perkins – National Managing Director, Technology Industry Practice for Grant Thornton LLP – writes:

“The cloud is accelerating the expansion of deep functionality to support financial operations – as well as dramatically reducing the time-to-implementation. For CFOs historically mired in spreadsheets, the cloud offers the accuracy, scalability, and a platform for global collaboration, enabling strategic insight.”

Rhianna Collier is VP for the Software Division at SIIA. Follow the Software team on Twitter at @SIIASoftware.

SIIA & OPEXEngine: Let the Data Set You Free!

Hear how Kelly Battles, CFO of Host Analytics, works with her finance team to track key financial and operating metrics data to drive performance and keep the company on track to deliver growth in 2011. In addition, Lauren Kelley, CEO of OPEXEngine will present key software industry benchmarks from OPEXEngine’s comprehensive financial and operating benchmarking report, developed in partnership with the SIIA. Join us for this informative webinar to learn more about how the benefits of metrics-driven, fact based decision making can help you drive better performance and efficiency within your own organization.

Lauren Kelley, CEO & Founder, OPEXEngine
Kelly Battles, CFO, Host Analytics

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