How the Cloud Helps Government CIOs and CFOs Improve Operations

When government agencies modernize their ERP systems, CFOs gain better visibility into agency spend and processes, and CIOs are able to shift resources to more strategic priorities.

Adopting finance, payroll, and human resources applications designed from the start to operate in the cloud will save state and local government departments valuable resources and improve operations. In this podcast episode, originally recorded by StateScoop, Workday CTO for North America Dan Wesley explains how. 

Listen on SoundCloud: How Cloud-Based ERP Systems Help CIOs and CFOs Improve Their Operations

Listen on Apple Podcasts: How Cloud-Based ERP Systems Help CIOs and CFOs Improve Their Operations

If you’re more of a reader, below is a recap of the conversation. You can find our other Workday Podcasts here.

“Today, for both organizations—the CIO and the CFO—you have to be able to reach out to your employees through a modern interface,” says Workday CTO for North America Dan Wesley.

Modernizing the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system gives CFOs better visibility into agency spend and processes. In parallel, this modernization will reduce time and resources required for IT teams to manage legacy systems, which are often siloed, and allow CIOs to focus on other priorities.

Interfaces that enable users to engage directly with both the system and the data allow employees to perform better, Wesley says.

Wesley cites two examples of counties that reduced costs and time spent on functions like payroll, HR, and IT management when they upgraded to a cloud-based ERP system.

In the first example, one large county in California struggled to use a 20-year-old payroll system hampered by limited HR functionality, manual processes, and workflows that were unable to move data across agencies.

When the county implemented an integrated, cloud-based ERP system, “what they found was streamlined processes and greater visibility . . . being able to look at the data, the cost of the data, the efficiency of the data,” Wesley explains.

Most importantly, he adds, there was less reliance on IT to manage infrastructure integration and reporting or analytics.

Wesley also describes a Workday platform customer in Colorado that modernized its heavily customized and unmanageable system. Under the new system it phased out a number of manual processes by automating 6,000 business processes and eliminating 75% of the paper they moved.

For CIOs who are managing these integrations, the top concerns are security, risk aversion, and compliance, says Wesley. Leaders considering solutions to modernize their financial and enterprise management applications by moving them to the cloud must be able to maintain or exceed the security standards they have in place.

Platforms like Workday, which were designed for the cloud, bring together finance, HR, analytics, and planning to make it easier to assemble and analyze data, and provide users more useful analytics and reports, he says.

Additionally, with those functions taking place in a cloud-based hosted environment, the IT staff no longer have to worry about maintaining and patching a collection of systems and capacity planning.

As CIOs and CFOs consider their options, Wesley advises they first rationalize each ERP system. “Look at each system and question if you need it, whether it’s a stand-alone system,” he suggests. “Look at the entire breadth of your applications and see what makes sense for your organization today.”

Secondly, all departments need to look at data cleanliness and reliability. “If you can’t operate data you don’t trust, it’s worthless, so you don’t want to uplift that information into new architectures,” he cautions.

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