The Role of Cloud Computing in Enhancing FP&A Functions

It’s safe to say that financial planning and analysis (FP&A) relies heavily on computer systems. Computers do the heavy lifting when it comes to collecting and managing data as well as running computations.

Since this sector relies so heavily on computers, it only makes sense to pursue the best computer resources that you can find. Inevitably, that will bring you to cloud computing.

The Modern Cloud

Most of us are familiar with the cloud at this point. It’s a term that describes off-site computer resources. Through an internet connection, you can access remote data storage, remote servers that perform powerful functions for you, and even remote services.

None of that is new, but cloud computing is growing and evolving with the rest of the computer world. AI is emerging everywhere, and most of your best AI access is in the cloud. The same can be said for cybersecurity assets, modern communication, and anything else that might involve a computer.

How Cloud Computing Fits into FP&A

As the cloud evolves, the specific ways it can enhance FP&A also grow and expand. In particular, cloud computing provides excellent resources in terms of security, data integrity, collaboration, scalability, and automation.

Data Security

FP&A looks at massive sums of data, but that data requires excellent security. When financial data leaks in a breach, the consequences tend to be extreme. According to IBM research, personal financial data is the most expensive kind to lose, costing an average of $183 per record.

No one can afford that kind of damage, making data security in FP&A paramount.

Even if you aren’t managing personally identifiable data, the simple fact is that you’re prying into financial records. The simple perception of mishandling that data can prove expensive.

Cloud computing puts your data into professional hands, providing the highest levels of modern security. On top of that, you can look into security promises and insurance that protect you from financial fallout if your data is compromised despite the cloud security.

Data Integrity

Protecting data from prying eyes remains important, but you also need reliable data. Corrupted hard drives, ransomware, and a number of other issues can all threaten the integrity of your data. If you lose access to your data, or if the raw information is damaged or compromised, FP&A falls apart.

Just like cloud computing can ensure better security, it also enhances data integrity.

IT has long used the rule of three in regards to data protection. The classic recommendation suggests that you keep your original data files, a local backup that is not connected to any networks (called air gapping), and a cloud copy.

With all three sources, you can recover your data from virtually any disaster.

Of course, modern cloud solutions provide such robust backups on their own. Your data will be protected in different server locations around the world to ensure that no single disaster can threaten it. As long as you have access to the internet, your data is safe and reachable.


Clearly, data is essential in FP&A, but there are additional advantages to cloud computing. Collaboration comes to mind.

In the modern world, we all collaborate with people in various locations around the world. Cloud services make this easier, more reliable, and more effective.

If you are on the road, you can access your data and your cloud-based tools, allowing you to work just as effectively. So can your collaborators.

Cloud computing does more than just allow you to download raw data at different locations. It includes communication channels. Text, voice, video, and file-sharing resources all sit in the same cloud ecosystem, allowing for consistent, reliable, and accessible communication.

Collaboration becomes simpler, easier, and more effective with a good cloud suite.


When you talk with IT providers, the word “scalability” comes up a lot. If you want your business to grow, then your IT assets will have to grow too. Cloud computing makes this easier.

Cloud providers can simply add more to your service package if and when you need it. Most providers have tiered service packages from the start. When you grow into the next tier, you can upgrade with a few clicks from your profile, and you have scaled up your infrastructure.

That kind of simplicity saves time, money, and headaches over the long haul. The scalability of cloud computing enables you to function without interruption even as you pursue lofty goals and aggressive expansion.


Most of all, cloud computing gives you even more access to automation. You can integrate cloud resources with tools you already use. This allows your systems to automatically upload data to the cloud, streamlining that aspect of FP&A.

Beyond that, automation cleans up communication (with automated alerts and emails). It provides powerful server access that can parse and analyze data better and faster. It can even streamline real-time updates so that you can see your latest insights, at a glance, whenever and wherever you want them.

Improving automation improves every aspect of an organization, and it certainly empowers your FP&A efforts.

Cloud computing is an integral part of modern technology. It fits into the ecosystem that provides powerful analytics, general IT, enhanced automation, and even artificial intelligence. If you want the most from your FP&A efforts, you cannot ignore the cloud.

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