A New Perspective on Data can Revolutionise Finance at Midsize Businesses

The call for digitalisation is definitely heating up across virtually every industry, leading to a common perception that every business function is ready to adopt new technologies with open arms. But unfortunately, not all finance departments are equally focused on new technologies to drive better insights that support their business.

Recent IDC research suggests that only 50.2% of best-run midsize companies are supported by finance organisations that understand the power of data when ensuring timeliness, accuracy, and insight. And the results from these companies are nothing short of stunning.

Their finance leaders indicated that machine learning and artificial intelligence are used to eliminate data silos and enable information-sharing and increased operational efficiency. These emerging technologies also reduce workflow errors and cycle times while improving customer service.

The choice is clear: Get in front of finance digitalisation – or get left behind

Why change a process if it’s not broken? This one question can quickly become a debate over financial responsibility and business growth for finance leaders. Some people favour the rapid opportunities afforded by fast access to real-time data to respond to changing demands. Meanwhile, others argue that existing data management approaches – even those reliant on spreadsheets – seem to provide the information needed.

While both sides have their merits, a short-term view on a company’s use of data and analytics to influence decision making is risky. Finance organisations that subscribe to maintaining a growing inventory of spreadsheets, disconnected data sources, and manually created reports face significant challenges.

They include inaccurate and out-of-date information, unnecessary reliance on IT support for critical business insights, slow and inefficient processes, and poor decision-making outcomes.

But sometimes, if an organisation doesn’t entertain a different way of doing things, it will never know what’s missing. Finance leaders should have the freedom to experiment with technologies – from tapping into a massive trove of business data in real time to automating processes and enabling what-if analysis to steer more-strategic decisions.

Fostering digital trust to deliver outcomes that matter

Adoption of intelligent technologies, especially for midsize businesses and their finance teams, is the key to timely action, decision-making accuracy, and fully informed insight.

Once insights from those innovations are derived and operationalised through automation, finance organisations can allow the rest of the business to get ahead of auditing and compliance challenges without trading off business efficiency, quality, and growth.

Discover how finance organisations can drive insight and guidance that powers real growth for midsize companies. Download the IDC Brief here

This article first appeared on mybroadband.com and was published in partnership with SAP South Africa.