There is a frequent misalignment between the volume of money spent on technology within an organisation and the value that the organisation derives from that technology. Sound familiar? Ask any CFO, CTO, and CIO and they’re very likely to agree with this. Here’s the kick: this observation was made back in 1985! In this second instalment of our Intelligent Performance Management blog series, I explore the limits of relying on siloed solutions as the cure-all for your data woes. Instead, you need an integrated technology platform embedded in the business.
The early 2010s was a dynamic time for the proliferation of connected technology. In 2014, SAP acquired the Software as a Service (SaaS) company Concur for $8.3 billion, in what was the largest SaaS acquisition to date. This is worth mentioning as Concur is known as the first SaaS company, and an acquisition of this scale at this time was regarded as the preeminent indicator that cloud-based technology was about to hit prime time. If we fast forward a few more years to 2020, we can see this to be true. Organisational investments in SaaS as a percentage of their total budget grew to 64%, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) investments grew to 58%. How much are you investing?
Organisations are investing in cloud-based solutions at a much more aggressive rate than on-premise solutions, and there are no longer divisions between cloud and on-prem strategies. They are treated as two sides of the same digital coin, but many businesses are not embracing the technology as a catalyst for change so much as shoehorning it into their existing world and hoping for better results. Notably, as other areas of the organisation are embracing digital platforms and investing in scalable cloud solutions, the finance function has emerged as the laggard. This is perhaps not surprising. Often many finance processes are bound by expansive legacy systems and manual data handling. To make a substantive change to the system that reports to the market is a big undertaking, but it is necessary to unlock the power of your data.
It’s evident that many people in the world understand that technology is the future, but what does this future look like and how do we get there? After all, simply using technology to automate a mess can have minor speed gains, but the mess is still there, and all those disjointed processes will still collide with one another.
Let’s change that narrative and play with a bit of blue-sky thinking.
Imagine a world where you can pull near-real-time and actionable insights from the combination of your financial performance and operational data. All your company data flows together and is processed and handled by various tools which are integrated into one platform, providing you with a comprehensive view of what is happening with your company, why your current position is what it is, and how you can gain an edge on your competitors.
This is perfectly possible and requires the use of an integrated technology platform as a frame for your business, with further changes based on inlumi’s 4-pillar Intelligent Performance Management concept. The competitive advantage comes from the simultaneous movement of data and process together, in an integrated cloud-based platform. This cloud-based platform is the frame that holds all your moving parts together, seamlessly handing off information between the business areas, churning away delivering value to you and your people. In essence, you can leverage emerging and intelligent technologies without an astronomical investment in hardware and expertise. Gartner supports this idea, stating that 30% of organisations will gain their competitive advantage in 2020 from the creative exploitation of emerging technologies, such as AI, IoT, and augmented analytics.
So, what now?
On the face of it this seems like a simple decision; take the leap and soar among the clouds! But there are more factors that need to be considered. Your business is not just technology. It has unique data and challenges. Your platform must be set up to work best for you, and your business has to mould itself around a new frame.
It’s been said before, but this is a revolutionary intervention and not an evolutionary step. Organisations who focus on cloud as the end-goal and forget about the reasons why they are moving to cloud find themselves getting tunnel vision, and ultimately facing serious problems. This lack of focus clouds the issue for many organisations, pun intended!
Many of you have probably already experienced some form of “so what now?” around an investment in technology, and this is what inlumi’s Intelligent Performance Management avoids. It is the view that your technology platform, uniquely configured as the frame of your business, is only one element of the challenge.
At inlumi we have identified the 4 key pillars of Intelligent Performance Management that need to be addressed for you to enable the Insight Engine and achieve the best results possible for your organisation. Embracing technology as a catalyst is only one of these areas.
To level-up your organisation and realise the value from your investment you need a holistic plan covering technology, data, and processes. In fact, your company-wide strategy must be revisited to ensure the successful execution of the changes you will be making. It is not an easy fix, and certainly not a quick fix, but it is a change that needs to be made to ensure your organisation is fit for the future.
Over the coming weeks and months we will explore each one of the 4 pillars of The Insight Engine in further detail right here at inlumi.com; through a combination of articles, webinars, and Q&A sessions. If this resonates with you, why not get in touch with us and we can explore how your organisation can benefit from Intelligent Performance Management thinking?