Digital finance is headed your way whether you want it or not. Why? Because the new workforce demands it and because, as legacy workers leave your workforce, they take with them know-how that today likely isn’t captured or codified in your existing systems and processes.
Evolving technology, evolving workforce
The vision of digital finance is one in which there’s a single source of truth that can be shared throughout an organization—even beyond the organization—in a way that delivers actionable information that’s relevant to the user’s role and that can be provided through a variety of channels, such as mobile apps and the cloud. The vision is one that transforms transactional data into information that can be brought forward in real time to support decision-making across the board.
Fortunately, there are solutions that help enable the digital finance vision—and to extend it by integrating, for example, with customer engagement capabilities and logistics functionality available through broader enterprise software applications. These solutions make business sense because they can help accelerate the realization of value and provide a competitive advantage. They make sense because they include the type of functionality that the new generation of workers expects—potentially helping your organization attract and retain the talent that you’ll need to compete in tomorrow’s business environment.
Empowered and enabled workers
Ultimately, many organizations require today a corps of digital finance professionals who are not only eager users of these solutions, but are also active participants in the evolution of digital finance. More than idle participants, digital finance professionals are curious. They apply first-hand experience and lessons learned to look at information in new ways—to seek new finance-related insights and to enable themselves as well as their organizations to work more efficiently. (That’s great news for CFOs, a majority of whom say becoming more efficient is a top business priority in 2016, according to the Deloitte CFO Signals™ survey.) And they’re empowered—doing things like using advanced analytics to integrate market information with core ERP data to make strategic decisions for their organizations.
If the notion of a new generation of empowered digital finance professionals sounds far-fetched, think again. It might have been out of reach five years ago, but the recent advancements are significant. Today, the power of flexible reporting is put in the hands of the finance users, without their having to replicate data in offline spreadsheets and other business information systems. You can adapt and evolve efficiently, with finance workers tailoring their experience in ways that make sense for them and for the organization.
Getting it right
To empower and enable finance workers to work as effectively as possible, you should do three things.
Start with business processes. Understand the processes you have in place today. Develop a vision for the processes you’ll need for operating in an evolving, hyperconnected, data-rich business environment. Develop a strategy for reinventing and aligning existing processes so they align with that vision as well as the vision of the digital finance professional.
Put in place governance. Enabled and empowered workers can help deliver new efficiencies and value. Without structure, rules, and oversight, however, your organization might miss goals, deviate on strategy, or run up against new risks.
Focus on constant improvement. It’s not enough to enable workers with new tools and the freedom to customize how they do their jobs. Don’t get complacent. Find out what’s working. Find out what could be done better. Find out how you can continue to drive value and keep your competitive edge.
Want to know what else should be on your mind as you work to cultivate the new generation of digital finance professionals? A conversation with an SAP global services partner such as Deloitte can serve as a great first step. Contact us to get the conversation started—www.deloitte.com/SAP.