Digital tools like predictive analytics, digital dashboards, artificial intelligence (AI), and advanced algorithms can give businesses powerful new ways to improve their financial performance

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

finance technology

Digital tools like predictive analytics, digital dashboards, artificial intelligence (AI), and advanced algorithms can give businesses powerful new ways to improve their financial performance

With the need to manage today’s rapidly changing, highly competitive business environment, which demands timely information and insights – how a finance function approaches digitization makes a big difference.

None of us knows for certain what the future will hold, but we all have a responsibility to be thinking about what’s likely to happen and to prepare for it. With the need to manage today’s rapidly changing, highly competitive business environment, which demands timely information and insights – how a finance function approaches digitization, makes a big difference.

Digital transformation often starts with the ability to capture, integrate, easily access, and analyze high-quality data. Automating routine finance tasks increases efficiency, but the business impact falls far short of the value that the finance function could potentially create. By skillfully combining data with automation, the finance function can become the orchestrator of strategic execution and unleash substantial business impact. Forward-looking companies have already invested in a digital future and will continue to invest, as the tools evolve.

Digital tools such as predictive analytics, digital dashboards, AI, and advanced algorithms can deliver powerful new insights into how a business can improve its financial performance. In today’s unpredictable, fast-moving business environment, plans and forecasts tend to have a short shelf life. Digital tools can provide the flexibility and agility needed to manage this new reality.

However, fully integrating human and digital capabilities within the finance function requires re-imagining its role in the company, making fundamental changes, and managing many interdependencies. The key is to develop a comprehensive strategy, to ensure that digital tools deliver the most impact. It is important to prioritize opportunities – Start by assessing the weaknesses, or pain points, in the organization— these offer the best opportunities for early digital success. Launch with test projects that focus on the highest-priority areas. Use these projects to lay the foundation, develop capabilities, and refine new ways of working. Know what drives values, expand your digital tool kit and then aggressively scale them across the functions.

As finance departments in organizations go digital, many staff members’ roles will evolve. To fully capitalize on the new tools and processes, finance staff will need closer links to IT and training in skills, such as the data analysis and forecasting.

It is also very important to track progress and stay involved. Measuring the results of the digital efforts is critical, especially because many of the initiatives will be evaluated and refined over time. Knowing what cost reductions, productivity improvements, and other benefits the new tools are delivering is an important input, as is communicating these benefits to the organization.

The future of finance functions will be a synergy between relevant technologies and suitably skilled teams. Finance transformation will depend on this fine interplay between digital finance technology trends and people willing to adapt and achieve forward-looking goals. Ultimately, companies that succeed in digital transformation will reap the rewards of having a finance function that is innovative, business-minded, and strategically focused.

The new world of finance will not just depend on how much you have saved for the organization, but will also be dependent on predictive data analytics which will enable the business growth and decision-making. When investment will be made keeping in view the ROI for all part of the organization, it is likely to set a new bar for success.

Here are few areas where Lenovo finance is leading the way on digital growth:

– Business controls predictive analytics: Important to cope with new threats of the online world.

– Competitive pricing analysis: Important to maximize daily sales and profits.

– RTM profitability: Important to know ROI and maximize your efficiency with e2e cost visibility.

– Multilayer partner rebate visibility: Important to manage your tactical and contractual partner rebates.

– Granular SKU’s profitability: Important to maximize the business mix of the organization.

– Digital financing & signatures: Important to deliver a better experience to customers on credit and collection process.

This is just the start of the journey, and we must keep evolving the finance function as an analytics hub to speed up growth.

Our vision is Smarter Technology for All. A world where every person and business has the access to technology that allows them to achieve their own intelligent transformation. We define ‘Intelligent Transformation’ as the process of deriving better business and societal outcomes by leveraging smart devices, big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud technologies enabled by our end-to-end innovative portfolio of products, services and solutions from devices to the data center.

Our 3S strategy and structure exemplifies our intent. With our vast bouquet of solutions and services, we are on the path of growing our customer relations by becoming their dependable and trusted solution services partner.

CFO’s in particular find our Truscale solution very compelling, wherein we offer the complete portfolio of IT Solutions and Services under ‘as-a-service’– from devices in your pocket to the cloud, via one contract, one solution, one provider, and one single point of accountability.

A CFO who can visualize the benefit that she/he needs to deliver across stakeholders of the organization, will be a big asset to take the company’s digital journey to new heights.

Author: Meenakshi Dagar, CFO, Lenovo India 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members