Everybody wants a seat at the table when it comes to discussing digital transformation and Deloitte argues that a firm’s chief financial officer (CFO) also deserves to be at the table.

Following results from its 2018 global outsourcing survey, Deloitte found that 93 percent of businesses are adopting or considering adoption of cloud solutions.

“Cloud is not just here, but here to stay. With the potential for significant cost savings and enhanced strategic value, cloud represents a fundamental shift in how technology solutions are developed and in how they are delivered,” Deloitte South Africa’s finance and enterprise performance management leader, Phillip Hechter (pictured above) said.

The leader says that during adoption of cloud, the CFO should play an active role in helping the firm navigate challenges that arise during the process.

For instance, the lower cost associated with cloud should be leveraged to its full potential by taking into account processes like operating model optimisation, speed-to-market and innovation. Hechter says that the potential for massive returns is evident should firms take this into account.

The Deloitte leader also says that because finance platforms are increasingly in favour of cloud-based solutions, the CFO can assist greatly in help a firm navigate these changes.

“It is important that the approach taken in negotiations is a holistic one and that all deals take into account the costs, benefits and impacts for all parts of the business. Thus, it is crucial that Finance works together with Legal, Procurement and IT. External advisors can also prove valuable, especially in organisations that lack experience in cloud contracting,” says Hechter.

The usefulness of the CFO doesn’t end there either. In terms of regulations, those surround the cloud are constantly in a state of flux.

“As a result, the process of determining the appropriate financial treatment for cloud investments is a somewhat subjective one at the moment and each case – along with its unique facts and circumstances – needs to be carefully considered,” says Deloitte.

Finally, when it comes to implementation, vendors are often focused on standardisation and will often push back on changes to standard agreements.

“Cloud providers are competing for market share, though, and so there exists the opportunity to negotiate for extra benefits and service capabilities – which could be a key source of competitive differentiation,” Hechter concludes.

So then, while cloud might’ve been the playground of IT years ago, it is increasingly becoming vital that the business as a whole is privy to the discussions that push the business toward a cloud-based environment.

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.