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    CFOs Need to Be More Involved in Cloud Initiatives

    May 22, 2013
    Involving the chief financial officer (CF0) in your organization’s cloud initiatives could yield far-reaching benefits, according to Janet A. Stiven of the law firm Dykema Gossett PLLC.
    Involving the chief financial officer (CF0) in your organization’s cloud initiatives could yield far-reaching benefits, according to Janet A. Stiven of the law firm Dykema Gossett PLLC.

    “CFOs that take initiative to implement appropriate policies related to the use of cloud services can make sure the services are deployed in a manner consistent with the company’s existing financial, compliance, risk management, record retention, employment, and IT management policies,” Stiven wrote in an article for CFO.

    She encourages CFOs to take a hands-on approach in managing their organizations’ use of cloud services and addressing conflicting messages employees may be receiving about using them.

    “Rather than remain silent and, in the process, potentially increase the legal risks to the company,” says Stiven, “CFOs and other executives need to engage employees in a discussion about when and where within the enterprise cloud services solutions can safely and cost-effectively be deployed.”

    ARMA International would say that records management and information governance professionals should also be involved in these issues, as the use of cloud services should be addressed as part of an overall recordkeeping program that encompasses records and information in all formats across the organization. Only in this way can an organization ensure it has access to the information needed for managing the business and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

    This is best stated in ARMA’s Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles®, which call for a commitment to good recordkeeping practices from the highest levels of the organization. The Principle of Accountability states: “An organization shall assign a senior executive who will oversee a recordkeeping program and delegate responsibility to appropriate individuals, adopt policies and procedures to guide personnel, and ensure auditability.” The Principle of Accountability goes further to say:

    • The senior executive in charge should establish a method to design and implement a structure to support the recordkeeping program.
    • Governance structure should be established for program development and implementation.
    • Necessary components include an accountable person and a developed program.
    • A recordkeeping program should have documented and approved policies and procedures to guide its implementation.
    • Auditability enables the program to validate its mission and be updated as appropriate.
    If you are considering the use of cloud services in your organization, you may be interested in Guideline for Outsourcing Records Storage to the Cloud, published by ARMA International and available through the online bookstore at www.arma.org/bookstore. More information on the Generally Accepted Recordkeeping Principles® can be found at www.arma.org/principles.
    © 2016, ARMA International