Cloud Conversations: 5 Talking Points To Sway A CFO

Convincing The CFO

Sometimes a business' road to the cloud starts with conversation with the CFO. It's often a challenge, however, to convince the company's financial leader that embracing a cloud service model is in the best interest of the bottom line.

West IP, a unified communications-as-a-service provider, offers five talking points to potential customers that are trying to sway a reluctant financial executive to get on board with the cloud.

Capex or Opex?

Find out what class of expenditures the CFO prefers.

"Really what it comes down to when you talk to the CFO is going to be a question of is that CFO's mindset more capex-averse or opex-averse," Marcus Schmidt, director of product development at West IP Communications, told CRN.

Keep in mind the full range of financial benefits of shifting the company's IT model from a one-time expenditure to recurring payments is often not well understood.

The Case For Predictability

Ask the CFO if he or she wants to impose predictability on the books.

The cloud model involves predictable monthly recurring payments, where on-premise solutions are often a crapshoot.

Most CFOs prefer to be able to account for all business expenses in advance. Eliminating worries of incurring unforeseen costs for service, maintenance, upgrades and replacement equipment is usually a winning argument.

No Extra Costs

Make sure the CFO understands the true TCO.

The depreciation curve for the on-premise solution often neglects to take into account expenses associated with upgrades, patches, and the time, energy and effort that goes into managing a complex on-premise environment, Schmidt told CRN.

Contrast that with the fact that most cloud providers bundle maintenance and support fees into the monthly service charge, so customers know exactly what they will be paying down the road and don't need to fret about unexpected costs.

A Boon For Seasonal Businesses

Is the business seasonal?

If so, the case for the cloud is even easier to make. The cloud lets businesses ramp up and down the level of service to correspond to needs.

Current Technology

Ask the CFO if the company wants to keep up with the latest technologies.

The CFO might need to be reminded of the benefits in productivity and employee satisfaction that come with staying current with technological trends.

"Cloud services can be upgraded faster and easier by the vendor to keep up with the latest trends," Schmidt told CRN.

With on-premise technology, you're pretty much stuck for years with what you've purchased.