When CFOs adopt innovative technology, they help build organizations that are more agile, profitable, effective, and positioned for growth. Here are the five actions CFOs can take immediately to get started down the right path:
1.Develop one single source of the truth: Data is the currency of success. Effective data management translates to big opportunities for companies that are intent on growth. But the key to effective data management is creating one source of the truth—a central data repository. Everyone needs to work from the same set of information, if your organization is going to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Companies can uncover key insights about their customers and business processes by breaking down data silos and building one single source of the truth. Whether that data comes from a single source, or more likely, multiple disparate sources, it needs to be visible from one place, so it can be trusted as reliable and acted upon by everyone who needs to make decisions.
2.Make that truth available and actionable: Data is only useful if the people who need it, both inside and outside your organization, can access it and act upon it to make faster, more informed decisions. Having the right technology to not only access data from across the organization but also to provide meaningful insights to stakeholders can help you build a path to growth. Data analytics can perform what-if scenarios that help you cut costs, identify new opportunities with existing customers, and even create new business models and processes. The key here is having the right level of data from across the organization and the right analytics to take decision-making to the next level.
3.Connect everything: No system can operate in a vacuum. Connect all your product, sales, financials, HR, etc. systems and you’re on your way to having the visibility you need to grow profitably. Consider adding cloud-based ERP and product systems, which can be among the most crucial and transformative investments a company makes. Because these systems reach into every part of an organization, from manufacturing and sales, to finance, human resources, and more, they can significantly improve your company’s efficiency and productivity, helping to drive its growth to the next level.
4.Connect everyone: True communication and collaboration can deliver great benefits. Just as all your systems need to be connected, so too do your employees and partners along your value chain. Social collaboration tools available from within the applications people use to get their jobs done make it easier to get work done. Users within your organization and all along your value chain can get information where and when they need it, at their fingertips, without having to break their workflow. The system can capture these interactions, so the information becomes part of the organization’s knowledge base, helping to drive greater insight and productivity.
5.Make it all available all the time: Business happens around the clock, everywhere. Cloud-enable all your most important systems and you ensure that your business can operate from any geography, at any time. Looking beyond the cloud, make sure as many of your core systems as possible are fully mobile-enabled. Whether an executive at the airport needs to look at sales forecasts from their laptop or a production manager on the manufacturing floor needs to check parts inventory from their smartphone, that information needs to be available and actionable--or an opportunity may be lost.
By selecting and implementing the right technologies, you can forge a smooth, steady, path to growth.
By Jonathan Wood