Financial professionals think of business investments in a relatively straight forward fashion: When will I get a return on this investment? Is the investment worth it? Do I have the budget?
In today’s business landscape, it’s crucial to also ask this additional question:
How can I ensure we get the absolute value of our investments in technology?
Quite often, final decisions on technology investments are deferred to our IT partners. Do we have the right resources to support the requested application? Do we have the hardware bandwidth? Do we have the budget? That can lead to unintendended consequences, and here’s why.
Ideally your IT department should be your business partner, not the absolute decision maker. They should assist you in making these decisions, not make them in a silo purely based on bandwidth, infrastructure and resource concerns. Does this work with our server? Does this technology work with our networks? Keep in mind that in a few years, none of that will matter. Reports say that by 2020, 83% of all enterprise workloads will be based in the Cloud.
Your FP&A expertise drives understanding
A seasoned FP&A professional is a trusted advisor and true partner with the business. They understand your business processes and can speak to them using a “finance lens.” It’s the insight that will provide the understanding your organization needs, because Finance asks these essential questions:
- What are the risks in the proposed process and solution? What are the rewards?
- What controls do we need to put in place to make the process successful?
- What data do we need to analyze the process?
- How can I create a process flow that will allow me to get real-time data and empower my team and business partners to make efficient and sound decisions?
Your team’s business acumen and financial baseline will enable them to utilize finance applications and technology to help your organization thrive in this new environment. Here are ways to get the most out of your technology investment:
- Make the data useful and readily accessible. Use applications that allow you to easily visualize the data; ensure the data provides insights that will allow your team to be strategic in their analytics and decision making. Ensure your team has the ability to explore hypothetical scenarios (acquisitions, commercial forecast changes, re-organizations etc.) to plan accordingly.
- Communicate your findings. The soft skills of clearly communicating complex information are more valuable now than ever before. Investors want reports to look like “this,” your CEO/CFO needs to see it like “that,” and the internal management team needs it like “this.” Data visualization tools can build the bridge from the very technical to the “key takeaways” in an instant.
- Generate more time to increase your bottom line. By utilizing the right tools and solutions, you can generate reports faster and more accurately. This would open a world of opportunities for your team and shift their focus from data gathering and manipulation to strategic analytics and proactive forward-looking decision making.
Businesses that don't adopt and evolve get left behind. Take the time to partner with our organization and explore potential solutions. It’s now or never.
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