Considering the very serious consequences of losing financial data in the cloud - both fiduciary and regulatory - it’s easy to see why if anyone needs their data backed up and secure, it’s the Chief Financial Officer.

While CFO’s are probably not too thrilled about storing sensitive data in cloud applications, things aren’t going to change. Companies use Salesforce to create reports and then share those reports throughout the company. Google Docs helps companies collaborate across teams and geographies and at one point a company’s financial information will wind up in these cloud apps.

So, why should a modern day CFO care about cloud-to-cloud backup? (See our own personal example.)

Lost data equals lost dollars; the question is the exchange rate

Frankly, it is almost impossible to put a general dollar figure of the intrinsic value of business data because so much of it is unpredictable. Losing a single Gmail message may not prove harmful—unless that precise message happened to include an addendum to a contract that is needed for the meeting your CEO is in right now. Suddenly, the loss of that Gmail message is now equal to the dollar value of that contract, but building a risk model around this scenario is pretty challenging.

What can be predicted is the amount of time spent recreating lost data which basically comes down to this: (Hours spent creating data) x (Employee hourly compensation) x (Frequency of data loss) = Value of lost data. If the value of the cloud data you expect to lose is higher than the cost of cloud to cloud backup, you should buy the backup.

Financial data is the most shared (and the least safe)

The vast majority of data in Salesforce could be considered financial data. Among the most shared items in Google Apps are collaborative spreadsheets used to track sales and financial data. The appeal of cloud based productivity solutions is that everyone involved in driving or tracking your company’s transactions can input data at the same time into the same system, enabling real-time analysis of your organization’s fiscal health.

Of course, that also means that every single one of those employees has direct access to your financial data, and the power to alter it. If user error is the unpreventable problem, financial data is the playground where user error has the most chance to occur, simply by virtue of enduring the most users making the most changes.

For CFO’s, the equation is simple: Cloud-based financial data needs a cloud-based backup, period.

Protecting your cloud investment

The only thing worse than paying for software you don’t use is having to pay for it twice: once when you adopt it, and again when you have to roll it back. The CFO’s job is to help avoid that kind of figurative double taxation.

Plenty of cloud migrations have failed—with plenty of dollars lost to systems integrators, trainers and consultants (to say nothing of lost employee productivity)—because data was corrupted or destroyed soon after switching from on-premise systems to the cloud. New users are the most error-prone, and thus the early days of your cloud migration—before your CIO has acknowledged the need for cloud to cloud backup—are when you’re most likely to lose cloud data to user error.

As CFO, your best tactic to protect your cloud investment is to ensure your company doesn’t have to write it off and pay to move back to expensive on-premise hardware and software. The best way to avoid a reverse migration is for smart CFOs (like you) to demand cloud to cloud backup.

For more on why your entire executive team needs to adopt cloud to cloud backup, download the eBook below: