Technology SAP

Leading Companies View Finance as the Foundation to Better Customer Experiences and Ensuring the Viability of Enterprise Transformation

Sponsored by SAP

By embracing digital transformation and intelligent technologies, finance organizations in best-run midsize companies are emerging as the epicenter of sustainable growth for their business.

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Excellence in finance and GRC processes has never been more important to delivering better customer experiences in today’s age of digital business transformation and business model change. Today’s leading CFO’s are at the forefront when ensuring the commercial viability of their enterprise’s transformation or other business model change initiatives across sales, supply chain, and other parts of their ecosystem.

No function understands this reality better than finance. The IDC InfoBrief, “The Finance Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Improving Decision-Making Using Intelligent Technologies,” sponsored by SAP, recently revealed that finance  functions in best-run companies are embracing digital transformation and intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and machine learning. As a result, most of these organizations are benefitting from more timely decision-making, increased efficiency, less error-prone operational processes, and workers who have been empowered to engage in higher-value business activities.

Notably, such changes are making finance more than a highly efficient function of cash-flow insight, effective spend management, and invoice and payment processing; it’s also emerging as the epicenter of sustainable business growth.

Re-engineering the future of midsize businesses with data literacy

A common dilemma for most finance leaders from midsize companies is knowing how to gain the visibility, speed, and insight to run some of their most basic operations. From sourcing appropriately skilled resources to executing a timely financial close (not to mention performing reconciliations and establishing adequate financial controls) the desire to be flawless, fast, and efficient is nearly impossible to achieve with manual processes. This is where the use of intelligent technologies can be incredibly transformational. 

The IDC report states that finance organizations in best-run companies prioritize the ability to quickly address core activities such as liquidity basis, performance modeling, auditing and compliance, spend management, and vendor invoice processing. But more importantly, they position themselves in ways that create new revenue streams, improve business agility, and respond to competitive threats.

The Finance Role in Best-Run Midsize Companies: Improving Decision Making Using Intelligent Technologies,” IDC InfoBrief, sponsored by SAP, 2019.

How can one back-office function have such a powerful impact on the success of activities that are not traditionally in finance’s domain? It all comes down to the opportunity to increase the entire company’s data literacy.

By setting a foundation of unified and well-managed data intelligence, finance organizations are quickly becoming the center of all operations – bridging the gap between back-office and customer-facing functions. According to IDC, finance organizations that are optimizing their adoption of intelligent technologies are playing a critical role in improving governance through:

  • Elimination of data silos, which is nurturing a business-wide culture of real-time insight-sharing and instantaneous data-driven decision-making;
  • Greater operational efficiency with reductions of workflow errors and cycle time, all of which are empowering better trend predictions, policy compliance, and detection of suspicious business activities; and
  • Innovative use of data to improve customer service, driving better cash flow, increased working capital, and higher rates of repeat sales while reducing time to customer value.

At the end of the day, each of these capabilities is helping the entire business do whatever is necessary to fuel growth. By accelerating its processes and delivery of insights with the right infrastructure and set of applications, finance is playing a central role in everything – from optimizing skilled resources to aligning operations efficiently and managing the supply chain proactively.

Kick-starting a dynamic partnership of guidance and growth

No matter if the company is creating a new customer experience, introducing a new business model, or expanding the supply chain, it is impossible to transform anything without touching various departments. As the IDC InfoBrief demonstrates, cleaning up finance-related systems and data management practices can empower the entire business to make the right connections between insights and action and accurately plan for a future of game-changing growth.