Pressure is increasing. A Workday-Deloitte study found that 70% of CIOs say the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated their finance transformation strategies by at least a year. To narrow the acceleration gap, organizations need a modern ERP platform with an intelligent, consolidated data core to increase information sharing and insights for better, faster decision making.
Addressing the challenge is more than a technology issue, however. That’s where relationships come into play. The CIO needs to work collaboratively with the CFO to determine the best technology path forward to solve the CFO’s top priorities:
Become a decision-ready organization. Finance Leaders need to harness data effectively to create a reliable, single source of truth, in order to track profitability at lower levels. Having this information allows for more informed decisions, but legacy ERP systems were not designed to track value at that level.
Establish a culture of cost-containment. Successful organizations constantly seek ways to control costs. They make strategic spending cuts to create better alignment across the business to improve cash flow, minimize risk, and ensure business continuity.
Predict the best course of action. This requires continuous planning and scenario analysis allowing key decision makers to quickly assess opportunities and stress-test revenue streams to capture competitive advantage or pivot mid-quarter to course correct.
Future-proof the business. Systems that respond to constant changes in business and minimize the impact of future disruptions, enable finance to master change and enable transformation, freeing Finance and IT from time-consuming change requests.
Automate and scale global finance processes. Dramatically simplify and transform core processes with embedded machine learning that detects anomalies, identifies exceptions, and makes recommendations, eliminating manual processing and providing continuous insight throughout the period.
Attract and retain digital talent. Unlock the potential of finance employees faster with innovative solutions and technology that create a modern experience. Today’s young, technology-savvy workers expect access to the latest tools. An aging on-premises ERP system gives them little incentive to join a company.
CFOs expect their IT leaders to be more financially literate, while CIOs need their partners in finance to better understand how technology can support them. The CIO also plays a critical role in changing mindsets and culture to support what IDC calls the “digital dream team.” And that’s where alignment with another key stakeholder comes into play.
In Lockstep with the CHRO
To truly enable a digital business, a modern ERP solution must go beyond finance and operations to also support an organization’s most important resource: its people.
“As all business units become technology units and are forced to break down functional silos, HR will become increasingly involved with technology decisions,” Carter says. “This collective approach will enable CHROs to address the top pain points of employee training and development, retaining high performers, and engaging and motivating remote workers.”
The CIO’s partnership with the CHRO involves defining a strategy to deliver a consistent, low-friction experience for all employees, regardless of role or location. A modern, cloud-based ERP platform can provide an experience that empowers employees instead of inhibiting them by:
- Using automation to reduce or eliminate mundane manual tasks and processes.
- Providing an integrated data core and seamless view of relevant data to reduce friction of cross-functional processes.
- Delivering consistent log-ins and personalized omnichannel interfaces across hybrid work models.
- Gathering and analyzing data on employee sentiment to help HR teams improve the overall employee experience.
In a climate characterized by constant change and disruptions, a cloud-native ERP foundation backed by a robust business-optimized developer environment provides the operational resilience and scalability that today’s digital business requires. A platform designed for rapid adaptability through configuration rather than code will support and enable all stakeholders across the organization, including employees, customers, and supply chain partners.
But the technology platform is just part of the solution. The “R” in ERP has become as much about relationships as resources. IT’s relationship with the business deepens when each side focuses on the other’s strengths and helps compensate for, rather than criticize, the other’s weaknesses. These partnerships provide the foundation of a modern digital business.
To learn more about how CIOs are tackling core modernization efforts, check out CIO.com for additional resources.