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Finance-as-a-Service (FaaS) brings the efficiency of the on-demand model to the world of CFOs and other finance executives. And while some organizations are already implementing their FaaS strategies, others may just be starting to talk about how this powerful business transformation vehicle will impact their people, processes, choice of technologies—and future success.
To better understand the who, what, why, and where of FaaS, I sat down with Matt Schwenderman, principal global Workday finance lead at Deloitte, and Scott Van Valkenburgh, global alliances and channels lead at Genpact. They share experienced insights about the mindsets and discussions needed to use FaaS to help decentralize the role of finance, improve value, facilitate greater flexibility, support a multigenerational workforce, and yes, even buy outcomes.
Below you’ll find a few excerpts from my conversation, edited for clarity. You can also find other Workday Podcast episodes here.
- “Information and technologies—such as cloud services—are assets that are driving change in how businesses do work. . . . And to understand and leverage these technologies, and take advantage of information as an asset, we need to start looking at two things. One is putting data science as a capability, where you use your understanding of emerging automation technologies, build use cases for automation, and then embed that in the finance function. And two, we need to think about breaking down some of the silos within finance and embedding finance more into the heart of the business—so they're working in partnership with the business.” —Matt Schwenderman
- “An initial roadblock for some is getting to the point where they just think about Finance-as-a-Service as a possibility. They've had such a great experience in living by traditional ways, which are more about, ‘I’ll pick a piece and fix it. I'll tackle little parts at a time.’ Making this decision isn't a technology-only decision. It isn't just an outsourcing-only decision, either. But it is an as-a-service decision. That really takes a new mindset to be able to grasp.” —Scott Van Valkenburgh
- “For companies that are reinventing themselves and going through some very significant cost restructuring and reorganization, Finance-as-a-Service gives them two home runs. One: They're quickly able to get the best of capabilities and technologies in people and processes. And two: they're able to run at a cost structure that in most cases would be very difficult to attain on their own.” —Matt Schwenderman
“The other piece is,how do you think about your organizational functions and structures? Taking the talent you have and leveraging that talent in other meaningful ways requires a lot of intentional effort to really think about and look at your organization, your structure, and your people.” —Scott Van Valkenburgh