Friday, August 07, 2020

How to get on the right side of digital disruption

Mar 06. 2017
  KESSARA
KESSARA
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By KESSARA SAKMANEEVONGSA
SPECIAL TO THE NATION

THE DAWN of the digital era represents opportunities that we have not seen before. From the information overflow to the rise of new technologies, finance organisations now need to prepare for the new challenges.

However, there are still questions from finance leaders whether digital disruption is a passing trend or something that can transform the way finance organisations operate. 

We decided to deep-dive into digital tools designed to enhance the capabilities of finance organisations. Based on Deloitte research, the seven technologies that contribute to the work of finance consist of the cloud, process robotic, visualisation, advanced analytics, cognitive computing, in-memory computing, and blockchain. 

These digital technologies represent significant changes for organisations. They enable finance organisations to serve clients more efficiently, differentiate themselves, reduce operating costs, enhance servicing time and, ultimately, help businesses make better decisions. 

The only wrong approach for navigating digital disruption is to remain with the status quo. 

Finance organisations that embrace digital disruption and master the technological tools will capitalise most on their advantages. 

Many companies that we work with are looking at the impact of these disruptive changes and how finance |can respond and better support the business.

What can finance organisations do to be successful in the digital era?

There is no single path to be successful in the digital era. Finance leaders need to create their own courses and manage their own risks. Nonetheless, the most essential aspect to being successful in the digital era is the people in an organisation. 

A successful digital model is fundamentally human-centric. It is about envisaging new ways of value creation and for how that can happen. People have to be digital enablers as well as users of new digital capabilities. The key ingredients for digital transformation include visionary leadership, engaging culture, and the right skill sets. 

Digital transformation does not happen without leadership. Chief financial officers need to possess a sharp insight into the future, provide clear ambitions and be able to give employees the opportunity to understand where they can push boundaries and drive innovation. This is the type of leadership that organisations want in the digital era. Obviously, CFOs in established businesses face different technological challenges compared with those in companies that grow up digitally.

Finance leaders need to create a culture that fosters innovation. It is important for organisations to inspire their workforce through engaging culture. Organisations that can inspire their workforces tend to have a higher chance of retaining the top talents |who contribute to the success of the company. 

The skills needed for digital finance are different from those needed in the past. Finance talent today needs a solid knowledge of technology and data science, as well as a deep understanding of the business itself. 

What can we do to prepare for this digital disruption?

Deloitte research shows that millennials will make up 75 per cent of the workforce in 2025. As digital natives, this new generation will not be satisfied at a place that is not cutting-edge or does not provide them chances to learn, grow and innovate.

One effective way to gain better talent and more organisational flexibility is through the adoption of the emerging gig economy, where cloud-based talent is sourced for specific tasks and outcomes. 

Individuals who possess knowledge in both analytical skills and comprehensive business acumen will be the game-changers in the digital era.

No matter what future you see ahead for your own finance organisation, one thing is certain: If you want to compete in the digital world, you will need to process more information more quickly, and turn it into deeper insights faster than ever. This will require investment in new technologies and a group of people who are curious and skilled in using it.

Kessara Sakmaneevongsa is partner and consulting services and human capital leader for Deloitte Thailand.

 

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