There is no shortage of perspectives on the state of cloud finance software. TDWI’s whitepaper on the explosion of visual analytics and CFO Magazine’s claim that the new breed of CFOs is driving the exponential adoption of CPM & BI software are just two of many examples.
One of the most interesting and in-depth pieces on the state of Cloud finance software came in late August from TechVentive Founder and technology industry expert Brian Sommer. Sommer drew many market conclusions out of his research and countless interviews with business finance leaders from 2010 – 2013.
His main conclusion: Cloud finance software has already crossed the Chasm among today’s SMBs – meaning it’s being used by both early adopting visionaries, and the pragmatic majority. And when it comes to the enterprise, the chasm is being crossed as we speak.
His comprehensive market piece is a great read if you have the time. If not, here are five of the most interesting excerpts from Sommer’s piece.
1. “What these overwhelmingly financial/accounting executives said surprised me. They could rattle off all kinds of Cloud solutions in use at their firms…CRM, Marketing Automation, Sales Compensation, Financial Planning, Payroll, HR, Talent Management, Office Automation, and Storage to name a few.”
2. “Once Companies Start embracing cloud solutions, the uptake of more cloud apps is expedited.”
3. “Cloud application sales are adversely impacting traditional on-premise firms.”
4. “Cloud applications overall, not just financial accounting apps, are absolutely mainstream now and buyers aren’t afraid of them anymore. In fact, they want more and more of them. The day and age of being a Cloud solution naysayer is over.”
5. “The need to educate and convince potential software buyers re: Cloud deployed solutions is now markedly lessened from previous years.”
One of the most fascinating findings of Sommer’s research is that Cloud integration – often thought of as an impediment to Cloud adoption – never came up as an issue during his interviews. And when Sommer broached the integration issue, one finance professional told him, “Cloud apps were designed to connect with all kinds of other software.”
No doubt there are still integration complexities that need to be simplified, and Cloud companies like Adaptive Planning are working to that end and setting an example with an entire, pre-integrated CPM & BI software suite.
But the lack of concern about integration validates Sommer’s point that companies are no longer fearful of the Cloud. Business leaders realize the scalability and efficiency benefits of Cloud apps, and Cloud financial software in particular, allow them to allocate more time on strategic initiatives. It’s clear that today’s fastest-growing, most innovative companies are embracing the Cloud, and Cloud financial software has certainly crossed the chasm.