Recipe For Finance Innovation: Mixing Up The Right Ingredients

Benno Eberle

The opportunity of digitalization reaches enterprises of all sizes, allowing them to speed up the interaction with external stakeholders. The expectation of customers is to get an immediate response, 24×7. To make those reactions possible, it’s not enough to speed up the sales machinery; we need to rethink the whole organization. Every part of the process chain could be on the critical path to delay the whole reaction time.

In finance organizations, the expectations are even higher. It’s not only about the reaction time. It’s also about rethinking and rebuilding old structures to move finance even further into becoming a partner of the business, supporting strategic decisions, and supporting new business models based on a vision but still substantiated with clear and accurate data.

Finance operations are not always in the spotlight, but are irreplaceable in every business. Mostly, finance operations act behind the scenes, playing a vitally important role in ensuring the enterprise’s success.

It’s obvious that processes need to be accelerated and automated. Efficiency must be increased to enable the CFO to take a more strategic role and build the business models for the future of the enterprise. That may sound like a huge hurdle, but the tools we have today were science fiction only a few years ago. Consider this:

The smartphone, for example, takes a leading role in supporting private and business life. But what’s the secret of what makes a smartphone so powerful?

It is not a single capability; it’s the clever combination of many. To name some: simple touch interface, big display, always connected, geo-location, camera, and smart apps combine to deliver something quite exceptional. And every day, new apps appear to change the world.

The same mechanism applies to other areas where the recipe makes the difference and offers exponentially more than the sum of the ingredients. It’s the same for an award-winning chef de cuisine who combines the different ingredients to create a unique experience of enjoyment.

The smart combination of the right innovations makes the world’s best finance operations solutions unique and powerful, and sets the foundation for the new ideas of tomorrow:

Analytics are not only easy to use but based on real-time data. Perspectives can be adjusted with a fingertip by the users themselves.

Sensors create huge volumes of data that can be analyzed with in-memory technology, which brings new insights we could only dream about a few years ago. As an example, smart buildings support facility management to create predictive maintenance plans before a breakdown occurs, moving the needle from a reactive to a proactive approach.

A few other ingredients include online connection to customers and suppliers with the help of business networks, or super-fast rollout of solutions in the cloud. But again, it’s the combination of all the ingredients that makes the offering unique.

And there are new trends like robotics and machine learning coming up, changing the near future of businesses. We are already working on the innovations of the future, the ingredients of enabling these solutions with new capabilities. The equation remains valid and can be extended: Adding new ingredients to the right platform makes the difference to long-term strategy.

To learn more about how finance executives can empower themselves with the right ingredients and play a vital role in business innovation and the value chain, please visit sap.com/finance for additional research and insight — and join us at SAPPHIRE NOW.

Click here to register for SAPPHIRE NOW (#SAPPHIRENOW) and the ASUG Annual Conference (#ASUG2016), which will run concurrently from May 17 to May 19 in Orlando. Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak will speak on May 17, two days before Coldplay plays Concert Night.

 


Benno Eberle

About Benno Eberle

Benno Eberle is senior director of Global Solution Marketing at SAP. He is responsible for product marketing for SAP's solutions for the Finance line of business. Benno focuses on the SAP S/4HANA Finance solution portfolio, which comes with mature but easy-to-use functionality for finance professionals and is crowned with the newest innovations and technologies in the cloud. His objective is to make existing and future customers aware of the fascinating business value this portfolio brings to successful organizations across the globe, helping them to transform and shape their organizations for the future.