As more enterprise technology becomes available, companies are increasingly utilizing software and applications to make traditional business processes simpler. One area that has grown sharply in recent years is third-party cloud providers. Enterprises are turning to cloud solutions because they take the burden off of IT departments, allowing them to focus on more strategic projects.

One process that is increasingly being deployed to the cloud is the use of spreadsheets. Many professionals still utilize spreadsheets because they serve functions and meet needs- such as cost allocations and complex revenue recognition- not met by general-purpose business software. Spreadsheets can handle complicated custom calculations, but are also leave open room for errors. Enterprise cloud services make managing spreadsheets simpler while increasing accuracy.

Cloud adoption grows in spreadsheet-reliant industries
The financial industry utilizes spreadsheets on a daily basis, so it's no surprise that usage of cloud services in the sector are growing. ZDNet reported on a recent Netscope study which found that there were an average of 18 financial services applications in use per enterprise. Finance professionals utilize cloud-based applications because they offer the ability to easily migrate existing reporting environments while improving productivity.

Cloud based services are also gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional spreadsheets because they reduce work time. According to information from Diginomica contributor Phil Wainewright, cloud based applications can take processes that used to take weeks to complete and produce results in under an hour.

"While [the old system] was effective, the speed it took to do reporting was limiting. The whole management information could only run twice in a month…," Mike Woods, project systems and quality manager for call center systems integrator Sabio, said in an interview with Diginomica "We've now got exactly what we want. The granularity of information is exceptional. To run the management information reports and produce it takes about 45 minutes. So we could run it on a daily basis if we needed it. We're using data now to identify trends, compare budget versus actual figures, calculate gross profit. This is therefore giving directors the data to make strategic decisions."

On top of making the use of spreadsheets more convenient, the cloud provides enterprises with many additional. Cloud providers can offer increased data security, a growing concern for many companies. The use of cloud services also allows enterprises to have greater flexibility in where they choose to conduct business, simplifying the process of opening new offices. The scalability of the cloud is also a large draw for many companies, as capacity can be moved up or down to meet changing business conditions.