The business world is full of jargon. From “shifting paradigms” to “touching base,” “bleeding edge” to “synergy,” we are surrounded by the meaningless fillers that seem to exist more for grammatical transition than they do in communication. However, there are some ways in which jargon does become meaningful or even something more than that.
Terms like scalability (a specific kind of growth),ecosystem (now referring an intertwined software stack), vertical (a business focus), drill down (an analytics capability), or so many more of the like, many terms have moved from jargon to common use. In fact, there was a time when the cloud, business intelligence, and digital transformation were considered over hyped and jargon-y.
Today, we’re going to “peel back the onion” to discuss how digital transformation presents a real opportunity for your business and how embracing such a term can create long-term cultural changes at your organization.
Digital Transformation: What Is It and How Do You Get Started?
Defined by Wikipedia as “the changes associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society,” the term as it applies to your organization goes much deeper. For companies, digital transformation is built on an organization’s ability to respond to customer demands, use technology to not only keep up with but move past their competitors, and make innovation easier by making collaboration easier.
Beyond Procedural Changes: A Clear Picture of Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is not only a procedural change, it’s a cultural shift. People will interact with technology in new ways, explore data using different tools, and push the organization to find new levels of efficiency and understanding. Decisions will be made faster using better information. Applications will interact and integrate with other applications. Departments will be more productive without increasing headcount and IT will focus on improving the business—rather than completing monotonous yet time-consuming tasks.
The Role of the Finance Chief in Digital Transformation
As innovative and business-changing as it sounds, it may not feel like the finance department will be at the head of the shift. However, as CFOs move into new roles—taking on everything from IT to operations—these will be the people who lead the charge.
There is good reason for this. Traditionally considered the“no” department and a department often thought of as the one who writes the checks, finance chiefs have found themselves leading new initiatives. Ultimately, this is a result of the long-term savings and growth that come from technology. There is money to be made.
Less time spent making decisions means that highly paid finance staff aren’t wasting away making sure the bills are paid. Increased visibility results in fewer revenue leaks or cost drivers. Reduced reliance on IT means that the IT team isn’t wasting away doing scutwork. An aligned sales and marketing team will generate more revenue more efficiently, while a new way of deploying applications will reduce risk.
The new finance department will empower the business and the modern CFO will be the hero of the story.
The Role of ERP in Digital Transformation
There are many places to start preparing your business for a digital transformation strategy, but often the first place to look is the current technology stack and business processes. As we discussed in our blog on the role of the Modern CFO, businesses are too often held back by their current technology (or lack thereof). Just as the push to digital transformation is being led by the finance department, the technological change most often driving a business toward the transformation is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software.
Many may think, “ERP is just finance software,” “ERP is too clunky to drive innovation,” or the most egregious “ERP is dead,” this is often due to an outdated process of thinking. ERP has been around for decades as a massive monolith that does what it’s supposed to do. ERP has not only kept up with changes in the business world, in the past decade or so, it has led the change, resulting in a flexible, agile, and easily integrated platform that fosters innovation.
This is referred to as postmodern ERP. Rather than hard to integrate or hard to implement applications or suites, postmodern Cloud ERP provides a solid foundation growth. Better yet, as ERP is designed to touch on so many different departments and leverage a vast supply of data, the right solution can drive many other parts of the organization forward.
We will continue to explore the role of ERP in digital transformation, key components of discussing how it can not only make your job easier and your company more efficient, but also act as the catalyst your organization needs.
Acumatica: Modern ERP, Powered by Milestone Information Solutions
There are many ways to grow and many more ways to transform. At Milestone Information Solutions, we have found that when many businesses find themselves at a crossroads, they also find that the right technological changes can push them forward.