By Mayda Barsumyan

Cloud computing is one of the most important forces fuelling today’s business world. The ability to store data in remote servers and access it whenever users need it has truly improved operational efficiency in ways never before thought possible. As such, the emergence of the cloud has essentially revolutionized how enterprises do business.

One of the key areas that benefitted from the dawn of cloud computing and through its subsequent widespread adoption is the financial aspect of business. Moving to the cloud has transformed the finance function of many organizations by improving automation, optimizing data processing, reducing capital requirements, and providing employees greater access to critical data, which makes collaboration and project management easier.

Moving corporate financial data to the cloud is not something only large businesses can take advantage of. Even small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit profoundly from such a migration. In fact, many businesses already do, and the idea of moving financial information and other important data to cloud-based systems is seriously being considered by many other sectors.

In a study published by Gartner Research in 2014, it was revealed that 47% of the organizations surveyed planned to migrate their core enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the cloud within the next five years. Disciplines within these ERP systems include financials, human capital management, and procure-to-pay.

Here are some of the reasons how using the cloud can positively impact an organization.

It can help organizations financially. One of the primary reasons driving  interest in cloud computing is its ability to give organizations the  ability to pay only for what it currently needs in terms of technological infrastructure. Migrating to the cloud positively impacts the balance sheet because cloud services are typically made available to companies on a subscription basis. Thus, companies don’t need to shell out significant amounts of financial resources upfront because they don’t have to invest in software, hardware, or services that they don’t really need.

Flexibility and mobility. Cloud computing allows employees to access important corporate data from a variety of devices and various locations. Whether the user is in the office, in the company’s warehouse facility, or abroad meeting business partners, data can be accessed in just a few clicks. Furthermore, cloud services also enable an organization’s IT department to be flexible and to easily adapt to ever-changing business needs. For instance, a user can quickly update forecast numbers from intelligent market insight and have the flexibility of incorporating external data worldwide.

It can streamline integration and collaboration efforts. In a world of partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions, organizations have to find more efficient ways to collaborate and to share technologies. The cloud provides a common platform for integration to take place across multiple legal entities. It also allows for easier data management, more comprehensive business development, enhanced operational efficiencies, and improved transparency and accuracy in data processing.

It is a scalable investment. Organizations do not have to worry about their servers running out of storage space or their tech infrastructure becoming obsolete. Cloud-based systems typically adapt well to changing business needs because service providers offer many options for system upgrades. Cloud-based systems give users confidence that they are one step ahead of their operational needs and that they are using technologies that are efficient and scalable at the same time.

It improves security. Although there are many myths regarding the possible security issues that may affect cloud-based systems, the reality is that well-managed, well-run cloud providers actually offer a higher level of security than what their clients can get from on-site equipment.

Cloud providers have expert staff to maintain the environment, and they specialize in security practices and measures that safeguard client information from various risks. Furthermore, because cloud-based systems use remote servers, clients can be at ease knowing that their data can be recovered in the event of an accident or a disaster that takes place at their company’s physical location

Moving financials to a cloud-based system can transform a business significantly. Professional consultants can help companies get started with migration efforts by providing the knowledge and resources necessary to make a hassle-free transition.

Mayda Barsumyan is an entrepreneur and the founder/CEO of Business Escalation, Inc., a technology consultation and implementation company. You can follow Mayda at @BizEscalation.