Why CFOs, CMOs and Managers Now Join CTOs in Making Decisions About the Cloud

MARCH 2012: Remember when making decisions about technology was an IT department responsibility? Back then, IT revolved around physical hardware — how to chose the best components, where to put them and how to connect, cool and fix them — and software that needed to be written or bought, installed and updated.

Then, in hops advanced cloud computing.

With a huge variety of cloud-based offerings that can help people do their jobs better and get more done, today’s cloud technology is actually driving return on investment. And when you add the recession’s “frugalnomics” into the mix, leveraging the cloud is definitely a business decision today. So, more people are involved.
Here are four key reasons why choosing cloud-based solutions is now a team sport:

1. The finance department is more involved in buying decisions across the board. According to CFO Magazine, since the economic downturn, CFOs have become more (or much more) active during buying processes, including reviewing financial justifications, functional requirements, ROI analyses and vendor evaluations. Another study by a private firm reports the vast majority (77%) have already assumed greater responsibilities for IT decisions.
2. The cloud can be used to solve business problems. Small, medium and large companies can use cloud-based solutions from a business development perspective. For some companies, a cloud-based solution can answer a very specific challenge in a single department, while in other companies, the cloud becomes an integral part of the overall business model. Or it can be used for both. Finding the right answers takes teamwork.
3. Cloud-based solutions can reduce costs. Whether companies use software as a service (SaaS) solutions, a private cloud, their own custom-designed cloud or another cloud strategy, cost advantages range from owning less hardware and software to using less energy to allocating staff more efficiently. Today, leadership from all departments comes to IT with ideas about how the cloud may help them with their budgets.
4. Using the cloud can boost sales. The cloud can be highly efficient. It can help marketing managers reach targeted audiences faster, and help sales managers improve prospect and customer relationships. All of which can lead to increased revenue, which means sales and marketing departments now have seats at the cloud decision table.
On the flip side, IT leadership is more savvy about business performance, too.

Just as CFOs are more involved in IT, CTOs are more involved in business development. They help drive business intelligence, marketing and sales strategies, business line management and more. Now in addition to being behind the scenes, they’re in front working with department heads, analyzing cloud vendors and managing cloud vendor relationships.