CFOs must have realistic short-term expectations for cloud adoption

January 24, 2012

IT departments are increasingly realizing the many advantages of cloud computing, but it's often difficult to explain the long-term benefits and short-term challenges to enterprise chief information officers.

According to a PCWorld report, more companies will adopt cloud services to reduce costs and transition IT tasks off site, but one expert said it's imperative for CFOs to have realistic expectations.

"Large enterprises must realize cloud computing will not (in all cases) provide immediate cost benefits to their organizations," said Sadagopan Singam, global vice president of HCL Technologies, as reported by the source. Singam added that CEOs and CFOs "must understand how cloud computing technologies will drive long-term benefits two to three years following the initial implementation."

While cloud computing eventually provides reduced IT costs for nearly all adopters, enterprises must first concentrate on managing several implementation and security obstacles, the report said. Most experts say the cloud environment increases data security, but companies must still consider legal and regulatory compliance requirements during and after cloud migration. Businesses are managing more important data than ever before, and ensuring information is secure across multiple platforms should be a priority of every organization, the source said.

Singam told the source that enterprise executives must view the cloud as a long-term investment, and demanding immediate cost benefits will only hinder the company from realizing other advantages of the cloud, such as increased productivity and the ability to scale services to their IT needs.

Different cloud solutions provide users with various benefits, but almost all cloud services reduce costs and improve long-term IT efficiency. According to a recent Mashable survey, 82 percent of companies saved money on their last cloud implementation, while more than half of companies experienced increased data center efficiency following cloud adoption. Several businesses have looked to Software-as-a-Service to expand employee flexibility and reduce costs related to purchasing software licenses.

-McAfee Cloud Security