Why Our Customers Choose Workiva and the Cloud

moving to the cloud
10 August 2018

Working on a report can mean many late hours under tight deadlines that never seem to let up—whether it's for a start-up, public company or government entity.

Of all the stories I've heard as Chief Customer Officer of Workiva, what sticks with me are the kind words from people who said we helped them meet deadlines even after devastating hurricanes. They were able to stay home and care for their families while continuing to work. That's the beauty of a cloud platform like Wdesk.

(Of course, there are the fun stories, too—accountants or controllers accessing Wdata and Wdesk from bed in their pyjamas instead of spending 20 hours at the office.)

What matters most to me is how we're impacting people's real lives.

For example, Amanda Taylor of LegacyTexas Financial Group says that after the bank went public in 2006, she usually pulled three all-nighters in a row before filing the 10-K. After her company started using Wdesk, she reported zero all-nighters.

"Wdesk is life-changing," she says, "because when you think about time away from your children, time away from your family, time spent hunched over a computer, it’s a big deal. If you can save three or four days off your quarter-end or year-end close process, that’s time you get back with your kids. That’s making dinner with your family."

These are just a few examples of how Workiva is transforming the way people work. Workiva streamlines processes through cloud technologies to give back the gift of time and provide peace of mind in the reliability of data.

Why cloud solutions?

Traditional solutions for financial reporting can leave organisations too siloed, dependent upon too many manual tasks and full of uncontrollable, unscalable, insecure and fragile processes not intended for today's complicated world of risk and regulation.

Leveraging the cloud can help eliminate those issues, with several value-added benefits along the way. Customers have shared many reasons they moved from desktop-based applications to the cloud. In this blog series, we explore the top 10 reasons more than 3,000 organisations chose Workiva, Wdesk, Wdata and the cloud.

1. Accessibility and collaboration

True collaboration happens when data and documents are available in the cloud, not trapped on one person's computer. Documents in the cloud are available anytime, anywhere, to internal or external stakeholders with the right permissions, whether they are down the hall or in different time zones.

2. Security

Giving teams a secure place to share documents is safer than sending them via email and downloading attachments to multiple devices. Cloud service providers typically employ multifactor authentication, advanced permissions, and data segregation to control access to sensitive information. They encrypt it both in transit and at rest, so the wrong users cannot read it.

Our customers rely on Workiva to stay ahead of security concerns, so they don't have to. We are constantly testing, refining and reinforcing our security measures to protect sensitive data.

3. Data governance

Leveraging cloud platforms enables you to more easily manage data history and user activity across millions of records. With audit trails, every edit by every user is recorded. Workiva gives you added visibility, so you can compare historical versions to see what changed.

4. Scalability

By using software as a service (SaaS), you do not have to invest in more servers or equipment as you grow. Let your service provider scale up or down for you to handle data at an enterprise-level. Collect data over time without worry of storage limits or work-stopping slowdowns.

5. Ad hoc reporting

With data always accessible in the cloud, it becomes easier to keep up with the increased frequency of reporting and disclosures, gain real-time insights and perform ad hoc reporting. Unifying multiple datasets from multiple systems in the cloud enables you to explore more financial, operational and other types of business data from a single source.

6. Productivity, efficiency and employee satisfaction

Global digital operations have made the notion of a 9-to-5 schedule seem quaint. Yet, the simple ability to allow multiple users to work simultaneously on the same document in the cloud can shave hours from reporting and testing workloads, as our customers have found. Plus, not all of our working hours need to be at a desk. Cloud accessibility can restore work-life balance and give employees the flexibility they crave.

7. Fast return on investment

There is no pricey on-premise hardware to instal when you move to the cloud. There is also no need to hire staff to maintain that hardware. Meanwhile, the increased productivity from working in the cloud can help hold headcount steady, even as your company grows.

8. Reliability and redundancy

Amazon and Google power reliable cloud data centres for Workiva to offer customers business continuity, high availability, disaster recovery, data security and stability, and personal peace of mind.

9. Connections and integrations

Today's top cloud platforms can talk to each other, so your data can flow dynamically from one to the other. Workiva, for one, can integrate with general ledger (GL); enterprise resource planning (ERP); governance, risk and compliance (GRC); enterprise performance management (EPM); and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, including Oracle® ERP Cloud, SAP® S/4HANA, NetSuite®, Anaplan®, Workday®, Intacct® and Host Analytics®. External data can also be brought in via Wdesk Excel® Sync and a published open API.

10. Control

You no longer have to wait for IT to deliver software patches or upgrades. There is no need to set aside time to install updates and reboot. Cloud platforms update automatically in the background. With Workiva, permissions are also easy to implement. Project owners can grant and limit internal and external users' access to projects, documents and individual sections without involving IT.

Watch this blog as we explore each of these points in more depth over the next few months.

Oracle and ERP Cloud are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. SAP S/4HANA is a registered trademark of SAP SE in Germany and in several other countries. NetSuite is a registered trademark of NetSuite Inc. in the United States and other countries. Workday is a registered trademark of Workday, Inc, registered in the United States and elsewhere. Intacct is a registered trademark of the Intacct Corporation in the United States. Host Analytics registered trademark of Host Analytics, Inc. in the United States and/or in other countries.

Mitz Banarjee

About the author

Mitz Banarjee is the Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. Over the past 10 years, he has been heavily involved with technology companies of all sizes at an operational level driving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.