Thinking Ahead for the Next Year
Information technology within the enterprise has not been standing still, but sometimes any beneficial operational change is hard for us to see in practice when traditional processes are so deeply embedded across our organisations, often being driven across multiple and different vendor sub-systems that can, behind the scenes, technically leverage very different underlying database and middleware technology infra-structures.
Moving forwards to the next operational level to gain competitive advantage is going to be troublesome for many organisations, as to achieve higher levels of productivity improvement will require newer and broader deployments of latest digital process technologies that can also leverage our existing legacy sub-systems for protection of past investments. This will potentially challenge current organisational structures, because it will come with a need to tackle the often existing and duplicated data silos, which are all so deeply and departmentally entrenched within our organisations. Continue reading
Understanding the Key Issues to Drive Efficiency
Making time for change that will save us hours of repetitive work, each and every month, is one that typically eludes us due to the perception that the change process itself will consume time that we simply do not have available. Occasionally, and probably more frequently than we care to admit, events like annual budgets or re-checking those monthly reporting pack submissions drives our frustrations to a point of wanting to make a change, but this desire soon subsides as normal business pressures once again push us into multiple directions, and soon thereafter we are again executing the same tasks, despite our original good intentions.
Our productivity has of course not stopped evolving. Employee self-service (ESS) has already helped us embrace reduced administration for leave management, as well as other numerous employee management tasks, and Expense Management has standardised processes to ensure that expenditure for T&E and other employee procurement activity is kept within a tight control before any trip or expense execution. With all decisions being made by management @anywhere with a full knowledge of budget availability, including those harder to track approved but deferred expenses, we continue to move forwards, but now we recognise that we holistically need something more radical to drive us to the next level. Continue reading
Driving Home an Advantage
Finding time to make an operational difference is always a challenge, amidst the continuous noise of daily activities, but modern technologies today are now enabling you to make smaller more manageable iterative changes that really can make a significant impact. Think of them initially as your wider existing processes, including those that touch spreadsheets, being either fully or partially automated as new digital ones. These then effectively become the new digital glue between your existing systems, with all being executed with appropriate security levels and segregations of duty to drive compliance.
Most organisations are today at a similar stage of operational inefficiency with excessive amounts of time being spent on transactional processing to reach acceptable end results, so any time spent on making them more efficient will save you time to drive further value initiatives. The root cause of this friction is twofold. Firstly the inability for users to create cost effective, repeatable, and auditable ultra-granular transformational processes across different vendor applications, and secondly these users not having access to the practical compute power to drive the former in a timely manner. Continue reading
Existing Structures are Inhibiting Change
Knocking down barriers to remove business impediments is something that corporates are used to doing, but it seems today that departmental walls are becoming bigger, more political to break, and that the move to the next level of agile and pervasive HR management in this digital era will be more painful, whilst the rewards of doing so will be higher.
Change management has never been easy for corporates and comes in the form of existing team members finding more time to achieve desired goals through late nights, contrasted with bigger organisations where new teams might be formed, perhaps with outside project managers, to drive newly predefined goals. Continue reading
Considerations and Constraints to Think About Prior to Action
Digital transformation is a concept that is tackled over time to eliminate transactional friction in operations and finance, through the leverage of full or partial automation that is made possible by latest technologies. This brings practical compute power that enables ultra-granular processes to be defined as required by domain end-users. Think of them as being used to iteratively define a complete process, or even a partial one, from data collection thru all flows to reporting @anywhere. They can also drive contextual actionable alerts plus simulations for value.
With resource levels having been driven down for productivity improvements over recent years, breaking into that vicious cycle of spending time to reduce time on a specific process is a challenge in itself. It is not just about the replication of existing flows but more about streamlining them or automating them, but at the same time also maintaining or increasing any necessary compliance controls. Continue reading
Enabling Granular Processes Enables Value Creation @Multiple Levels and Facilitates a Better Work-Life Balance for You.
The concept of reporting sounds a bit passive today, but if it was re-defined as proactive contextual actionable alerts would this in fact grab your attention more? Whilst for some this might move interest levels, for others being simply able to tackle any frictional issues that prevent a better work-life balance in the first place, or that enables a higher confidence in reporting submissions, might actually be seen as a more tempting driver for change. So why make the distinction at all and should anyone care?
Simply put we are on the cusp of a massive shake up in the Office of the CFO, and also within operations where current reactive reporting, with its limited x-application capability and broader process inefficiencies, will collide to see corporates in a major renewed push to extract value, with perhaps a deeper longer term change on how we view functional management. Continue reading
Building More Understanding as to Evolving Options
Digital technologies are creating buzz but corporate deployments can be extremely challenging when they meet existing legacy applications. Exciting on one hand, and daunting on the other, it is the “how to deploy question” and “from whom” that often thwarts any immediate progress, especially as technology is never standing still, and if anything is actually speeding up.
Differing vendor messaging, when added into this mix, also shows seemingly multiple ways that we can technically achieve the same end result, at least on the surface, with the added twist that there are sometimes new types of vendors in the form of corporates or consultancies to consider that are expanding their own domain solution sets. Continue reading