To outlive or thrive within the VUCA times (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), companies should attempt in the direction of a value-driven digital transformation journey. To deliberate upon the survival technique and significance of digital and monetary transformation, ETCFO and ETCIO in collaboration with SAP Concur organized the SAP Concur India Summit on September 8, 2020.
At this unique summit, Finance, Human Useful resource and Expertise leaders throughout industries got here collectively and mentioned how these enterprise features ought to endure digital transformation to emerge stronger within the ‘new regular’. Additionally they mentioned about future preparedness to reply swiftly to sudden challenges and alternatives – highlighting the significance of redefining and reinventing our current methods and processes.
“Digital returns on funding (ROIs) are crucial,” stated the keynote speaker, Ashish Khanna, President – Renewables, Tata Energy. He defined that ROI shouldn’t be decided solely by the impression on high and backside line, however the analysis must be extra worker centric. As an illustration, impression on productiveness, worker morale, enterprise transparency, capacity to speak and deal with rudimentary features with out a lot trouble.
Covid-19 has put know-how leaders in a peculiar scenario. They’re anticipated to drive digitalization at an accelerated tempo however are additionally marred with price range constraint challenges. In one of many panels, the primary matter of dialogue was optimizing prices in these unsure occasions.
Are Finance Leaders in sync with Digital Transformation?
Within the panel dialogue on ‘Driving Monetary Transformation within the VUCA World’, the audio system contemplated upon how the prevailing enterprise methods and fashions would change endlessly and are unlikely to return to the ‘previous regular’.
A CFO’s position is prone to change into much more important pushed by analytics to drive enterprise methods on the forefront of this transformation. and a mindset change is equally necessary to simply accept new methods of working. The finance perform will play a major position in supporting important resolution making, enterprise mannequin transformation and income & expenditure forecasting stated one of many audio system.
“The main target must be on analytics, staff with diverse talent units, and full view into money circulation to drive this alteration,” stated Sridharan Rangarajan, Group CFO, Murugappa Group. Pradip Menon, CFO, Pidilite, believes that the power and openness to undertake new applied sciences will drive this alteration. Kapil Bagadia, CFO, KPMG, nonetheless, would really like companies to utilise this time to take away complexities accrued over time and thus, lead in a extra simplistic method.
Simplification means eliminating the pointless in order that the mandatory may be achieved. Right now, as many as 79% of staff hyperlink their general finance and administrative expertise with their general satisfaction of working for his or her agency as per a current research commissioned by SAP Concur, added Mankiran Chowhan, Managing Director – Indian Subcontinent, SAP Concur. She stated that, “Individuals and processes within the finance perform will outline what the brand new period seems to be like. It could be important to re-skill the finance groups in order that they’ll prioritize their time on extra strategic duties like superior situation planning, higher visualization and value optimization.”
Within the ongoing COVID-19 situation, organizations are figuring out dependencies, areas of enchancment and methods to leverage the present scenario to usher in everlasting modifications. The hearth chat session on ‘Guaranteeing Price Management & Compliance whereas Sustaining Visibility and Worker Expertise’ turned the highlight on firms driving monetary transformation with minimal disruption to worker expertise.
“With the intention to usher in digital transformation and integration throughout the group, it’s important to have collaboration and teamwork amongst all staff. There may be rising significance on the choice of construct versus purchase. Having a powerful resolution supplier like SAP Concur, that understands the enterprise and finance language, and helps your spend management resolution making could make an enormous distinction in the direction of simplification,” stated Krishnan Ramachandran, Senior Vice President – F&A & India CFO, Hinduja International Options Restricted.
Speaking about the important thing focus areas of the finance departments whereas dialog round digital transformation continues to develop, Vishal Maheshwari, Group Chief Monetary Officer, Healthium Medtech, stated, “This 12 months is about survival, not progress. Therefore, each finance chief ought to concentrate on three areas – cashflow administration, driving a tradition of price consciousness and productiveness and digital upskilling of our workforce. Managing these key substances can definitely assist in driving effectivity throughout features and result in higher enterprise outcomes. Having rolled out SAP Concur final October we had been capable of sort out the challenges that the pandemic offered in a way more environment friendly method.”
Aligning IT with Spend Administration within the New Regular
Talking on the position of know-how within the present dynamic enterprise panorama, Andy Watson, SVP & GM, APAC, SAP Concur, stated, “As know-how leaders form the brand new regular, it is very important create leaner and environment friendly operations whereas attaining higher management for the companies to successfully adapt and guarantee enterprise continuity. Digital transformation shouldn’t solely make the processes simpler but in addition generate financial savings for higher monetary efficiency.”
IT and finance leaders have an unprecedented alternative to steer the enterprise to success. To take action, Aarthi Iyer, Answer Guide, SAP Concur talked about three items of the puzzle that one must get proper – Digitize Processes, Combine Information and Programs and Align IT and Finance. She defined that on a macro degree, the overall enterprise profitability cannot be measured except a holistic view into all of the spends and bills is offered. Earlier, the businesses used to have a look at varied bills in silos like from the journey expense distributors or service procurement distributors, or direct spend distributors. However now, the businesses have to have a holistic visibility of the overall expenditure. The thought is to deliver collectively each supply, class and channel for all of the various kinds of vendor spends in order that spend reallocation may be achieved to the precedence areas.
Manoj Deorukhkar, CIO, Sterling and Wilson, stated, “IT budgets will clearly be constrained. So, as CIOs, we have now to concentrate on priorities and ROI. We must always work with the enterprise leaders to ensure that all the digital transformation technique is aligned with the general enterprise efficiency. In at the moment’s time, the budgets might be authorized just for the tasks that present tangible returns.”
A collective view of the panelists was that digital transformation ought to usher in options that use Synthetic Intelligence (AI) and Machine Studying (ML) to refine and simplify money circulation methods, get rid of menial actions and guarantee close to real-time resolution making.
However the Query is How Would CFOs Handle Spends within the New Period?
Clever know-how or higher technique, or each? The panel on the ‘Path to Clever Spend Administration’ lined the dialogue amongst three audio system on this matter.
“In early April, we didn’t understand how to reply to the pandemic. We knew that we had been in a disaster, we knew how deep it was, however we didn’t know for the way lengthy. Finally, we began specializing in how one can make staff snug and productive with a forward-looking strategy. The know-how helped within the transitions to balancing ledgers, reconciling spends, digital bill and payables,” stated Viswanath PS, CFO, Randstad India, a buyer of SAP Concur
Kumar Subbiah, Chief Monetary Officer, CEAT, stated, “Whereas money is king and liquidity is necessary, going ahead we are going to take a look at it in a different way.” He has by no means checked out cost-cutting as the one goal, as there are good in addition to unhealthy prices. “We’ve to determine the place to not apply the ideas to chop prices. One ought to have the conviction and braveness to incur the proper prices, and for that, we have now to establish the respective areas,” he added.
Including to this, Kaleeswaran Arunachalam, CFO, Eicher Motors, stated that its equally important that one ought to know the place to take a position. He defined that if somebody is investing in digital and faucets the social media as an alternative of going by way of the mainstream route, then that enterprise ought to pay attention to the anticipated ROI.
On the position of the CFO, Arunachalam stated, “Our job is to make sure that we’re dynamic and create parameters for the enterprise to develop.” A whole and built-in view of the organisation’s bills may help the finance leaders within the new period in gaining the mandatory visibility and enhancing the general monetary stability by managing budgets comprehensively, forecasting precisely and deciding on the precedence spend areas.
Reimagining Worker Expertise
The pandemic has pressured organizational and purposeful leaders to reimagine paths to attain a speedy restoration within the enterprise. Monetary transformation may help the businesses to make environment friendly modifications within the processes and resume enterprise to whole regularity however staff can’t be omitted of this equation. To make this case higher, reimagining worker expertise holds a vital position within the strategy of resurrecting enterprise operations.
Shraddhanjali Rao, Vice President, Human Assets, SAP India, elaborated on how higher worker expertise results in higher enterprise alternatives and the significance of re-imagining worker expertise to achieve the present dynamic surroundings. Enhancing worker expertise by rethinking the established order is a facet to be deeply contemplated she additional added.
Within the panel dialogue on ‘Reimagining HR to create an agile Worker Expertise’, Uma Rao, VP & Head – HR, M&HCV, Ashok Leyland, expressed how worker care has seen new dimensions and worker security issues are amongst the prime HR aims at the moment. Reflecting on worker care, Sudakshina Bhattacharya, CHRO, IL&FS Group, added, “Worker care conversations at the moment are changing into boardroom discussions and there’s an immense concentrate on enhancing worker expertise and security.”
An engaged and devoted workforce is essential for companies to navigate by way of the present tough occasions. A collaborative effort between totally different departments – finance, HR and IT – together with adoption of digital instruments to make duties easier and sooner can go a great distance in enhancing the general worker expertise.
After the invigorating discussions and data sharing classes, Sorabh Pant, Comic & Author, who additionally calls himself a ‘Skilled Ranter’, offered a get up for the 2000 plus viewers that had enthusiastically linked for the digital summit. This was certainly the cherry on the cake.
In a nutshell, navigating uncertainty requires a coherent technique. Money mixed with braveness in a time of disaster is priceless – the collaboration of finance, IT and HR leadership would do the identical to assist companies reduce the impression of the disruption and change into extra resilient in at the moment’s unsure surroundings.