There’s a new business imperative: go digital. No matter what industry, no matter what business function. Digital technology and strategies are no longer just under the purview of edgy marketing departments or hip, online retailers, they are being infused into all aspects of any organization—even the finance department.
CFOs and their teams understand that unless they start to leverage cloud and web-based platforms, and embrace new automation and smart technologies, they risk obsolesce.
The Digital Impact
What is propelling this new emphasis on F&A digital transformation is four major drivers:
Data is the new currency. With the mass collection of structured and unstructured data, companies are actively looking for effective ways to make sense of it all. The ultimate goal is to apply data analytics to create actionable insights.
Increased focus on business outcomes. Lowered costs are a given in these days of doing more with less, but now the bigger (and more interesting) conversation is centered upon driving outcomes for business benefit. F&A departments are now expected to be a partner to operations, marketing, HR and R&D.
The rise of intelligent automation. Why have people perform transactional activities that machines (like Robotic Process Automation units) can do? There is a concentrated effort on shifting from transactional talent to digital talent, of moving people out of “busy hands” work, and toward the “mind work” that moves the needle on objectives.
The need for organizational agility. Every company wants to be faster and more agile in the marketplace. This means offloading simpler, less differentiating functions so that the organization can concentrate on core competencies, and more complex processes.
How to Transform Order-to-Cash
Yet between the desire to transform and the successful execution of a transformation mandate there lays a gapping chasm. Companies would be best served to apply a best-practices approach can accelerate the change initiative. This involves:
- Defining the service strategy. This helps companies to align service quality according to customer segments’ requirements, reduce the cost-to-serve, and increase internal flexibility and discipline.
- Establishing the organizational structure, often with new specialized roles, and ensuring buy-in.
- Evaluating centralization and partnering with a process transformation company as key levers to improve flexibility and decrease costs.
- Connecting end-to-end processes and align neighboring functions’ activities towards the common goal: customer satisfaction.
- Incorporating the latest appropriate technology (digital and analytics) that will enable predictive insights.
If you’d like to know more about how to use data-driven finance to achieve excellence in the Order-to-Cash function, listen into the webinar with Sutherland’s Jon Sunthimer, Vice President, F&A Global Technology Leader, co-hosted a webinar with Veena Gundavelli, the Founder and CEO of Emagia Corporation.