Cloud financial technology on horizon for majority of companies

According to a new survey, adoption of cloud financial technology is increasing, although there are still some impediments.

Mass adoption of cloud-based financial technology on the horizon, survey says

Finance leaders' resistance to cloud-based financial technology continues to dwindle, according to a new Oracle, Accenture and Longitude Research survey report titled "Empowering Modern Finance: The CFO as Technology Evangelist" that was released this week.

Out of 1,275 survey respondents worldwide -- representing both finance and line-of-business executives -- only 31.2% said they did not anticipate using cloud technology for financial accounting. The remaining approximately 68% indicated that they were already using a cloud-based financial accounting system (24%) or were planning a move within the next five years. Similarly, 82% said they were either already using or planning to use cloud-based financial consolidation and reporting software, and 83% stood at the same level for cloud-based budgeting, planning and forecasting tools.

But there are still some impediments blocking the path to cloud financial technology. "Most notably, the risk of integrating new systems and technology remains a concern at many organizations," the report states. "Overall, 44% of respondents cite risks associated with integrating new systems and technologies as a key barrier to adoption in the finance function, but this rises to 51% for high-growth companies, compared to 37% among underperforming companies."

The No. 2 roadblock was lack of internal skills for 38% of respondents, followed by "finance function too focused on higher priorities," with 33%. Security concerns regarding data security in the cloud tied with "uncertainty over wider benefits of new technologies" for the No. 5 spot. Each garnered a 29% response.

Leadership, retention top HR's 2014 to-do list

Leadership emerged as the top human resources concern of 2014 in the recently released Deloitte University Press research report, "Global Human Capital Trends 2014: Engaging the 21st-century workforce." Eighty-six percent of the 2,532 respondents said leadership was either an important or urgent issue, and it held this No.1 ranking across all industries. Rounding out the remaining top five concerns in order were employee retention and engagement, re-skilling the HR function, talent acquisition and access, and workforce capability.

Is HR ready to address these challenges? "Overall, survey respondents reported generally low levels of readiness to respond to the 12 global trends in our survey," the report states. "In fact, on average across all trends, 36% of respondents reported they were 'not ready' as opposed to 16% reporting they were 'ready' -- meaning that they were more than twice as likely to say they were 'not ready' versus 'ready' for the trends they see coming."

However, the thorough 147-page report offers advice for how HR executives can begin to tackle these initiatives. For instance, to address the leadership issue, Deloitte recommends that organizations focus on fostering strong frontline supervisors and middle managers as well as company officials, use analytics to assess leaders, and "develop global leaders locally."

Talent Analytics gives data analysts choice of analytics system

Advisor 4.0, the latest platform release from HR analytics vendor Talent Analytics, now enables organizations to use the PMML-compliant analytics system of their choosing -- such as R, RapidMiner, SAP, SAS, Weka, KNIME or IBM SPSS -- to build predictive models in the software. "Let people use what they're used to using," Greta Roberts, Talent Analytics' CEO, said of the product update.

Advisor 4.0 will be available in early April, according to a press release.

Emma Snider is the associate editor for SearchFinancialApplications. Follow her on Twitter @emmajs24 and the site @SearchFinApps.

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