Often when organisations install a new system, they map around the existing process, rather than fundamentally standing back and asking “How do we simplify the process?” Other times they find themselves consolidating, ending up operating large numbers of different and complex systems, with licensing and training costs which are prohibitive. There is no one right answer, with each having significant pros and cons to consider before making the big decision.
During our roundtable discussion groups held across Australia, we heard from over 60 Finance professionals. They debated this point extensively and participants concluded that there is no one right answer, with each having significant pros and cons.
The one agreement reached was it is essential to consider all avenues before making the big decision.
Top Issues Raised:
- Managing a multitude of systems that do not talk to each other
- Strategies to decide which system should be the single source of truth and who leads the project
- Improving poor quality data within these multiple legacy systems – errors management
- Overcoming a reluctance for big bang projects which stems from the fear of significant implementation issues and cost blow out
- Determining the best of breed technology to assist with integration – a lack of integration is leading to manual process and time loss
- Minimising the added risk when there are too many systems operating – too many chances for numbers to change or be misrepresented
- For multi-national companies, combatting complexity derived from a system customised in another country with different business requirements and processes
- Maintaining high customer satisfaction while changing systems – ensuring customers can get the same level of service and product in an easier manner
- The danger of losing sight of the way Finance uses the system as complexity grows
- Making sure you have sufficient resources to complete the implementation – You cannot put your A Team in if you’re too lean, and your B Team may not be up to the task
- Overcoming the lack of implementation guidance from integration vendors
Here are some enablers to success our participants have found worked well in their organisations:
- Establish standardised processes and defining a single source of truth
- Develop a strategy for a cross function system of integration and adaptation
- Make sure your system is supported by your entire organisation from the bottom to the top while improving usability
- If aiming for consolidation, cut your processes and aim for simplicity
- Define and articulate ROI to obtain executive buy-in
- Get Global involvement – you cannot solely rely on IT for guidance
The questions and issues raised during our roundtable groups will be answered during the sessions at Financial Innovation & Tech Fest 2017, an exploration of how financial teams are innovating and transforming using technology. Sessions will be delivered through a mix of real-life case studies, live debates, interviews, workshops, and panel discussions.
Download the full report, Financial Innovation & Tech Fest Research Report 2017, to find out how our finance community has rated the challenges and opportunities of technological innovation, and what you need to do to stay ahead of the game.