Learn how Oracle Cloud for Finance is the most complete application suite.
Learn how finance agility can give your organization a competitive advantage.
Digitally savvy finance leaders rely on easy access to data – and not just data from their own department, but from across their organization. This vital information feeds strategy and empowers CFOs and others to make more informed decisions. Yet, all too often, finance leaders struggle to obtain a unified view of their organization, customers and suppliers, as information is held in separate apps and by different teams.
In fact, more than a third of finance leaders say their organizational structure is too complex, and that data is held in silos, according to Agile Finance Revealed: The New Operating Model for Modern Finance, a new study by the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and Oracle. Another 26 percent say that, as a result, finance teams have difficulty getting the information they need.
If you're trying to build an agile organization, your first priorities should be tearing down information silos and finding ways to encourage information flow.
Having tight-knit units within your broader finance team or across your entire organization isn't necessarily a bad thing. Problems arise when groups hoard information or make decisions in a vacuum. For example, individual business units drive 60 percent of IT spend, according to a 2016 Oracle study. In many companies, various business units are buying and using different cloud-based software and apps, often to accomplish similar goals.
This is certainly the least cost-efficient way to purchase technology. Of greater concern, according to the AICPA/Oracle report, is that "organizations end up with a cobbled together system of standalone offerings from different vendors." This creates disconnected pockets of information and varied performance metrics tracked from multiple places.
Imagine being asked to identify your most profitable customers. The standalone Marketing Cloud will tell you which customers were acquired at the lowest cost, the Sales Cloud will tell you about the largest deals in the pipeline, and the Service Cloud will tell you which customers are absorbing too much time with support. But as a finance leader, you need to combine all these datasets into one, holistic view of your customers.
For finance leaders charged with making strategic decisions rooted in the best information, such information disconnects are more than problematic; they make your organization less responsive to opportunities and less able to make smart, strategic decisions. In fact, the nearly 500 finance leaders surveyed in the AICPA/CIMA report said that these complex IT systems prevent their organizations from becoming more agile.
If you want your finance team to support your organization's agility, eliminating these information silos is crucial. Fortunately, there's action you can take to prevent this disconnect and consolidate your data. Here's how:
In this new digital era, the ability to make proactive, strategic and forward-looking decisions rooted in data is what separates industry leaders from those who fall behind. Identify and eliminate information silos in your finance team and beyond . . . and you'll set up your organization for even greater success.
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