Finance transformation” refers to a longstanding objective: shifting the focus of CFOs and finance departments from transaction processing to more strategic, higher-value functions. Our upcoming Office of Finance benchmark research confirms that most of organizations want their finance department to take a more strategic role in management of the company: nine in 10 participants said that it’s important or very important. (We are using “finance” in its broadest sense, including, for example, accounting, corporate finance, financial planning and analysis, treasury and tax functions.) Finance departments have the ability and at least an implicit mandate to improve business performance and enable a corporation to execute strategy more effectively. Yet the research shows that becoming strategic is a work in progress. Most departments handle the basics well, but half fall short in areas that can contribute significantly to the performance of their company. More than three-fourths of participants said they perform accounting, external financial reporting, financial analysis, budgeting and management accounting well or very well. But only half said that about their ability to do product and customer profitability management, strategic and long-range planning and business development.
Topics: Analytics, Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, CFO, close, closing, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, computing, Controller, ERP, finance, Financial Performance, FP&A, FPM, Management, Mobile, Performance Management, Predictive Analytics, Reporting, Social Media, Tagetik, Tax, Office of Finance
Finance and accounting departments are staffed with numbers-oriented, naturally analytical people. Strong analytic skills are essential if a finance department is to deliver deep insights into performance and visibility into emerging opportunities and challenges. The conclusions of analyses enable fast, fully informed business decisions by executives and managers. Conversely, flawed analyses undermine the performance of a company. So it was good news that in our Office of Finance benchmark research 62 percent of participants rated the analytical skills of their finance organization as above average or excellent.
Topics: Analytics, Big Data, Budgeting, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CFO, close, closing, Cloud Computing, Collaboration, computing, Controller, dashboard, Data, ERP, finance, Financial Performance, Financial Performance Management, FP&A, FPM, Microsoft Excel, Mobile, Planning, Predictive Analytics, Reporting, Self-service, Spreadsheets, Tagetik, Tax, Office of Finance
There’s a growing realization that the multitenant approach to the cloud isn’t the only option that companies should weigh in deciding between deploying software on-premises and in the cloud. That some people describe the multitenancy approach as “the real cloud” reflects the contentious nature of some technical debates, especially those that occur early in the evolution of a new technology. Multitenancy does have advantages that confer cost savings, and these have been important in the first stages of cloud adoption. However, we predict that single-tenant structures will rapidly gain in importance as corporations mature in their use of cloud computing, especially with respect to how they manage their ERP systems, as I have written. Corporations are increasingly adopting Web-based applications and moving their computing environments to a hybrid model that combines a combination of on-premises and cloud deployment options (private, community and public; single- and multitenant; or managed cloud). The right choice depends on the needs of the company and the ability of vendors to provide services that match their requirements.
Topics: Analytics, Business Performance, CFO, Cloud Computing, Concur, Dynamics AX, Dynamics GP, Dynamics NAV Dynamics SL, ERP, Financial Performance, FinancialForce, HCM, HR, Human Capital, Infor, Microsoft, Mobile, Planview, Plex, PSA, SaaS, Sage Software, Salesforce.com, Tagetik, Unit4, Workday, Workforce Performance, Office of Finance, Sales
At this year’s annual SAP user conference, SAPPHIRE, the technology giant showed advances in its cloud and in-memory computing efforts. It has completed the migration of its conventional application suite and portfolio of tools to operate on SAP HANA, its in-memory computing platform, and made improvements in its cloud computing environment, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. The last time I analyzed SAP HANA was when it won our firm’s 2012 Overall IT Technology Innovation Award. Now HANA has been transitioned from just a database technology into a broad platform. SAP wisely consolidated its efforts previously known as SAP NetWeaver into SAP HANA. This resolves some confusion regarding HANA and NetWeaver in the cloud, which I assessed. The recently announced SAP HANA Platform now provides the enterprise class of HANA implementation in the cloud. It comes with a trial edition of the data and visual discovery technology now called SAP Lumira, whose price has been reduced to encourage adoption (and which I discuss more below). The use of in-memory databases for big data is accelerating: According to our technology innovation research, 22 percent of organizations are planning to use this technology over the next two years, and through 2015 it will have a higher growth rate than other approaches.
Topics: Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Intelligence, Business Performance, CFO, CIO, Cloud Computing, CMO, Customer & Contact Center, Financial Performance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), HP, Information Applications, Information Management, Mobile Technology, Operational Performance, Predictive Analytics, SAP, SAP EPM, SAP HANA, SAP Lumira, SAPPHIRE, Social Media, Supply Chain Performance, Tagetik, Teradata, Workforce Performance
If you’re considering purchasing a financial performance management (FPM) suite, you shouldn’t overlook a recent entrant in the category, Tagetik (which sort of rhymes with “magnetic”). The company, which was founded in 1986 and is based in Lucca, Italy, began by focusing mainly on Europe, but has extended its efforts in the United States in the past two years. Tagetik 4.0 is an elegant implementation of a financial performance management suite running on Microsoft’s SharePoint infrastructure.
Topics: Budgeting, Business Analytics, Business Collaboration, Business Performance, CFO, close, Consolidation, Controller, Dashboards, Financial Performance, FPM, Planning, Reporting, SharePoint, Tagetik, Workforce Performance, XBRL, Office of Finance, Big Data