For company managers, sometimes it can be a bit difficult to grasp the concept of “the cloud”. A recently conducted survey demonstrates that nearly a third of them had trouble explaining cloud computing. What is interesting, on the other hand, is that nearly half of them also said the cloud would make them carefully rethink their IT strategies. Bearing in mind that the finance department has its particular needs, here are five steps that could help CFOs evaluate the benefits of cloud computing and enable them to build IT strategies in line with their business goals.

Cut Capital Spending

Economic instability gives rise to reductions in capital expenditures, so business managers are eager to trade IT costs for solutions that can be labeled as operating expenditures. Therefore, a predictable, periodic IT expense for guaranteed service is more appealing to finance than paying enormous sums for a big IT implementation. Cloud computing offers customers the possibility to rent computer capacity instead of making a huge up-front investment in IT infrastructure.

Have Core Business in Mind

It goes without saying that it is massively beneficial to rely on professionals to manage IT infrastructure. There are fewer demands put before the company’s IT department, managers cut their spending on tech solutions, and last but not least, they spend less time dealing with IT and can fully focus on the business itself. Hence, having a cloud services team handle technology management creates a stable, secure environment.

IT should be in line with Business

On-premises IT solutions often require precious hours and investment for hardware and software setup and maintenance, and any alterations usually demand considerable efforts. When company’s IT is managed by a cloud service, it’s faster to implement and easier to change. This allows companies to conduct their business more quickly and reduces long-term expenditures.

Data protection and compliance

When a business is thinking of investing in the cloud, security and compliance are top priorities, as sensitive customer and business data must be protected, and regulatory and reporting requirements must be fully met. Opting for the right solution, business managers simply must have confidence that these are top priorities for cloud services and technology providers. Doing business in “the cloud”.  CFOs should feel more comfortable with what they are approving and trust the people they are working with. If they have been using their own infrastructure and database, they would have been spending a lot more time reviewing security and compliance details.

As data protection is crucial in the cloud, cloud computing systems must satisfy the highest levels of security and compliance, including the protection of credit card information and details about government security. There are industries with various requirements for certification, regulation, and auditing, and cloud solutions should provide the tools to meet all those requirements. However, it is also of paramount importance to have a reputable recovery service on hand in case you need it for items that are not saved in the cloud.

Support the Enterprise

Opting for the right cloud services solution can provide company managers with comprehensive technical expertise reduced IT costs, faster business returns, and peace of mind. But how does a CFO choose the right provider? Managers should look for a company that has invested considerable energy and resources in making its cloud solutions enterprise-ready. What every finance pro should know is that being in the cloud services business in a real way demands a staggering amount of investment, so the right provider must perpetually be investing in the ability to support applications of enterprise-level size and scale.

There is a steady increase in the number of customers who are looking to support their businesses in its entirety - including their customer, financial and manufacturing systems - in the cloud. For this reason, they should carefully choose cloud offerings in order to find those that are scalable, highly reliable and available, highly secure, interoperable with the rest of the IT infrastructure, and centrally manageable.

IT Disaster Recovery

Cloud computing is a great solution to improve on storage and data recovery capabilities.  It is a good practice to have a reliable data recovery service partner established.  The Data Rescue Center offers expedited data recovery services and the best industry pricing.

Olivia Still is a blogger, technivore, and online marketing consultant for a number of Australian companies. Currently working on VPS Hosting.