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Digital transformation platforms in Finance

Digital transformation platforms in Finance

Background

Finance must be a key contributor to the strategic direction of the organisation, but the promised speed of implementation and agile delivery approach can clash with the organisations historic way of getting things done. 

Success can be achieved by applying focus and prioritisation of the objectives for Finance. 

Digital transformation in Finance – the innovative frontier…

The time for scepticism has passed with a number of organisations moving away from hypothesising about using digital transformation platforms for process orchestration in Finance. The way of working is moving on, with innovative solutions driving the way that monthly, quarterly and annual statutory and regulatory reporting processes are being undertaken. 

The challenges of responding to changing requirements while maintaining levels of control, compliance and quality are well known such as:

  • Prevalence of end user developed applications (EUDAs) 
  • Lack of transparency of the process
  • Near misses with reporting deadlines
  • Inefficient use of talent and financial resources
  • Disconnected information flows 

Finance can rapidly realise benefits by moving to digital transformation solutions through:

  • Improved control and transparency
  • Agility to respond to market and regulatory requirements
  • Real time monitoring of process effectiveness and insights into delivering improvements 
  • Ability to introduce automation in a targeted and safe manner through an API ecosystem

Agility for Finance

The Finance function can increase labour productivity by up to 65%. Much of this gain can be achieved through process optimisation and standardisation orchestrated on digital transformation platforms. 

Finance can achieve a significant reduction in time consuming manual production activities by moving to a self-service model with users able to optimise their processes based on the insights provided by the digital transformation solution. It is critical for Finance to have a solution that has the ability for rapid change in a continuous changing market.

The speed of implementation and ability to support change mitigates the risk of obsolescence of your chosen technology – Finance becomes adaptable. Digital transformation platforms are not built to last; they are built to evolve, freeing organisations historically constrained by heavy networks of legacy systems. 

Proposed value to Finance

  1. Apply the required security and control, mitigating risks to system integrity
  2. Identify process variations and drive efficiency and standardisation through increased visibility
  3. Complex coding capability not required. Finance users can manage the solution 
  4. Capability to extend across multiple processes across Finance 
  5. Integration with various sources (internal / legacy) including legacy tools, natural language generation and decision engines 
  6. Real time insights on process performance basis
Proposed value to finance

Areas for exploration

objectives

Low code digital transformation platforms

The progress of low code digital transformation platforms is reflective of the increasing demand for organisations to transition to technology orientated business models that are scalable, flexible and drive continuous process efficiencies. These platforms, by their nature, require very little manual coding, instead relying upon intuitive visual design objects to power agile, iterative apps that allow for more rapid innovation and more effective operation. 

At an individual level, low code models have broken down traditional barriers that prevent ordinary business users from customising and creating apps, thus increasing user adoption. At a macro, organisational level, they legislate for improved agility, decreased costs of change compounded by increased speed of change, and an improved, more responsive customer experience, to name but a few benefits. The bottom line: another powerful tool with wide-ranging implementation potential in the digital transformation armoury. 

The progress of low code digital transformation platforms is reflective of the increasing demand for organisations to transition to technology orientated business models that are scalable, flexible and drive continuous process efficiencies. 

What does the future look like?

Finance must be at the core of managing disruption, embracing digital transformation as a foundation enabling technology. As such, Appian, Pegasystems and IBM offer BPM solutions to deliver standardisation of processes while leveraging the opportunity to reassess existing capabilities and manage talent more effectively to help drive the organisation forward.

RPA, cognitive and machine learning cannot fully deliver efficiencies without being underpinned by a digital transformation platform.

Analysis of key BPM vendors

Analysis of key BPM vendors

Benchmarking of leading BPM providers

Benchmarking of leading BPM providers

Click below for more perspectives on the transformative role of the Finance functions in banks.