Optimising financial processes

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Digital Transformation – Avoiding a Slow and Painful Failure

“Fail Fast” we are told. 

This drives learning, innovation and continuous improvement.

The worst thing to do is to fail SLOWLY!

If you prefer, you can watch or listen to this discussion here . .

70% of Digital Transformations Fail to deliver on the business case, both in terms of business value and time to value. There are a small number of common reasons. 

One is that much of the “digital” business case rests on visibility to, and insights on, end-to-end process data. 

But it is harder to achieve than we are led to believe. Research from McKinsey and others exposes the root cause and some recent innovations highlight a novel approach to augment and accelerate our data strategies.

We need data insights to drive performance reporting, but that is not enough, It is just the tip of the iceberg.

We also need dynamic data insights to provide actionable visibility into;

  • Performance prediction
  • Operational workload
  • Backlog & choke points
  • Errors and defects (in detail)
  • Risks & threats
  • Behavioral trends
  • Actions for continuous improvement
  • Opportunities for business partnering

We have been led to believe by the marketeers and management consultants that we “have cracked the data problem”.

Executive expectations on data are high, but to date we have only cracked the visualization and correlation problem albeit with some great techniques and technologies.

However, the business process analytics problem is more challenging, and organizations are struggling today with long lead times and lack of sufficient detailed knowledge to develop the required business rules and algorithms. 

Progress on this, with even the latest technologies is measured in months, and often years. With expectations of the agile, digitally connected enterprise, this is a major cause of slow progress.

The result is that as little as 20 percent of operational process data is currently used to drive decision-making and action. This is far from where we need to be.

So, how do we solve the problem and accelerate time to insight, action, process improvement and innovation?

  • Eliminate the biggest and most time consuming step in the process – capturing business process knowledge, expertise & best practice

This enables unprecedented speed and time to value, and reassuringly lowers costs also.

Corporations spent decades trying to build their own core financial systems until it became evident that 80/90% of the core financial processes are common between businesses. 

Now, we believe in “BUY” before “BUILD”.

Why hasn’t that understanding extended to business process analytics?

Maybe because of our love affair with tools and foundation technologies.

Where processes are largely common, we should “BUY”. 

Where they are highly differentiated and form our competitive advantage, we should “BUILD” or “PARTNER”.

Experience to date demonstrates a massive advantage over current received wisdom;

  • The Cost Advantage of “Buy” vs “Build” for core financial business process analytics are;
    • 5:1 In Year 1
    • 2:1 Recurring
  • Even more importantly, because speed really is of the essence, the “Time to Value” comparison for Build vs Buy is; 
    • 8:1 at a minimum . . . .

This is Pareto thinking in practice . . . .

We discussed this in detail in a 35 minute webcast, and you can see the recording here . .  

This is how we can augment our strategy and accelerate progress on our digital journey.

What is the Net Present Value of an effective business outcome tomorrow, next week or next month compared to next year or the year after?

Worth a thought.