Going Real-Time

Article

Going Real-Time

How CFOs and Finance leaders are approaching the transition towards real-time

Finance is thriving to make faster fact-based decisions to meet the ever-increasing customer demand, market uncertainty and performance pressure. We have invited five Finance leaders to share their views on how they are making use of real-time insights to enable real-time finance reporting, create insights and improve results.

Today’s rapid-changing environment and pressure for performance call for faster actions and fact-based decision making. Finance sits on an incredible amount of (big) data available, pondering on how to gather accurate and productive information. Finance organizations are thriving to become more agile and uncover insights and actions that help outperforming the market and win customers. How can faster, insight-based decision-making be enabled? How can the goldmine of Finance big data be used to improve organizations performance?

The underlying challenge to these questions, is to decrease data latency and ensure data quality to enable (near) real-time insights. This translates into accurate and timely delivery of Finance and performance information, enhanced management reporting, and data-driven strategy design. In order to achieve that and deliver (near) real-time solutions, organizations are combining technical tools with financial processes, leveraging ERP platforms and other digital enablers.

In fact, technology is already widely available; the key challenge is to identify the right technology in which to invest, and make use of the right data to generate insights. As a Finance leader, one needs to consider investing in a wide data spectrum, and select technologies that can best be combined with existing business processes.

Additionally, it is crucial to cultivate the right profiles and talents, and strive for the right changes in the organization. A cultural shift towards scenario thinking, proactive reaction to insights as well as a consistent focus on process optimization, are all required by the real-time revolution. Similarly, collaboration across teams (Finance, IT, Supply Chain, etc.) will become more important.

The real-time journey is only at the beginning, and there is still a lot to be done. Some of the questions are still pending – how to transform the operating model? Where does real-time add value and where does it not? How to extend the technological landscape? – before the dream of a real-time Finance is realized and the power of going real-time is unleashed.

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