The future of finance (and other areas) is digital transformation, no doubt. Luckily, at this stage, most businesses don’t even question whether or not they should introduce digital technology into their business areas and automate their process. They’re asking themselves “when?”
The truth is, those who had seized the opportunities that digitalization offers early on have been reaping the benefits ever since. For once, such businesses were significantly better prepared for disruptions ahead. And we’ve had plenty, take global pandemic which disrupted the way we work for one.
But introducing digitalization, especially at large-scale businesses, isn’t easy. That’s because transformation is not only about the abandonment of archaic processes – which are frequently conducted with the aid of legacy systems – the fundamental transformation requires understanding the big picture and dependencies, as well as the interconnectivity of different functions. Not to mention that transformation doesn’t end when new systems and processes go live – one needs to ensure adequate adoption, and employees need to be empowered through extensive trainings.
That’s where external consultants and IT services outsourcing come in – businesses decide to outsource such a substantial venture instead of draining internal resources (which by the way are often the same people who’ve been working with legacy systems and outdated processes for years and don’t know any better at this point).
That’s the reason why companies bring in new blood, a talent equipped with tech stack and tried-and-true methodologies, a talent who had succeeded in bringing a fundamental change from concept to plan to live at other organizations before.
And no, the reasoning behind choosing IT outsourcing does not only come down to cost optimization alone – this thinking is a relic of the past. Modern companies demand IT Services Partners to drive added value, a value they alone wouldn’t have been able to achieve otherwise.
Multinational food and drink corporation faces digital transformation: a case study
In this article, you’ll read a short recap of how a large-sized organisation went through introducing a higher level of digitalisation at the finance department.
Multinational food and drink company looked to undergo yet another phase of digital transformation, particularly within the finance function. As a business, they were driven by the following objectives:
- Improve the quality and timeliness of the business insights:
They wanted to improve their business insights by specifically leveraging real-time reporting. They could no longer rely on the periodic reports – as the finance department wanted to make sure they were fulfilling their critical business function, which is to provide timely data and insights to ensure the business is performing and going in the right direction.
- Accelerate processes and responsiveness to the ever-changing environment:
In the case of a multinational corporation, even a small percentage change might have a huge impact. The quicker you get informed, the quicker you can react. And then automation of processes and their digitalization in turn allows you to do so efficiently, essentially launching a series of cogwheels.
- Improve unification and standardization across the company:
A unified data strategy is incredibly important, especially for those seeking to improve efficiency, data quality, and insights. But how good are the insights that are not reliable? Not only are those useless, but any gaps in your data, as well as unstructured or untimely data could misinform you.
This is especially important when structured data coming from ERP is typically merged with external and unstructured data and will then feed the management reporting. Here, automation of processes helped reduce possibility of errors.
Optimizing workforce allocation, reducing errors along with the possibility of their occurrence, and by doing so future-proofing the business, of course, were no less important.
Devil is not so black as he is painted
But what is the process of digital transformation? For the reasons that we’ve discussed at the beginning of this article, a multinational company turned to source tech talent from an external IT Partner.
They didn’t have to look long for a trusted partner this time, as since 2017 Seargin has been consistently invested in their success proving the level of our tech expertise repeatedly throughout the years. They could easily cross “Find an external IT team” off their list.
If you haven’t worked with external partners before, or you’d like to get a better level of services, we’d recommend checking potential vendors on a portal such as Clutch.co (see reviews of Seargin IT services as an example), which publishes verified opinions. Or better yet, ask your colleagues around – personally or on Linkedin.
As the next step, the project discovery phase started. Depending on the needs and initial conditions, companies have a few flexible choices: augment the whole team to undertake a digital transformation, or source additional talent essentially extending (and strengthening) your internal teams. Besides, you’re in power to choose the project owner or a project leader, whether it’s going to be your employee or an external consultant, or perhaps even both will be responsible for the project.
Once again, you don’t need to do the heavy lifting by yourself, leverage your partner to find the answers to the questions above – you should expect them to be introducing solutions and options during the discovery and planning phase.
In the case we discuss here, after the discovery phase, Seargin was then able to suggest an optimal team structure, experience and skills necessary to launch the digital transformation of the finance function. The vision the client and Seargin shared resulted in the decision to onboard 7 Functional SAP Finance and Controlling Consultants, six of them were destined to join a Global IT Organization, and one Consultant had to support the Regional IT.
Throughout the digital transformation project, as we’ve been passing major milestones, the needs kept evolving. This is how the client – a famous food and drink company explains the engagement of Seargin’s team:
These [Seargin] consultants were participating either in entire project lifecycle (from Transparency and Engagement phase up till the go-live and hypercare), or participated in specific phases of the projects, depending on the needs. They had to demonstrate in many cases not only functional skills but also project management qualifications.IT Manager for Finance and Control Function, multinational food&drink corporation. Source: Verified review given to Seargin IT teams.
The devil is not so black as he is painted – but it’s essential to have the right team equipped with tried-and-true methodologies onboard. Talent and people are truly the life and blood of any business transformation.
The outcomes? To answer this question we’ll turn to the client’s (multinational food&drink company) review of cooperation with Seargin IT teams,
“All projects went live on time and with the expected quality. Some consultants proposed process improvements which even more contributed to overall success. We were most impressed about Seargin’s professionalism, their customer-focus, speed, as well as the quality of services.”
One of the other important outcomes was something a few people talk about, namely – the success with yet another phase of digital transformation within the finance function allowed the finance department to secure its strategic position within the whole organisation. That does make sense, right? The finance department enabled the business to tap into timely, high-quality and reliable results, which in turn allowed for business growth. The role of the finance department evolved, which are really great news for both Chief Financial Officer, IT business Manager and the whole team.
And most importantly, because together with a client we paid significant attention to the adoption phase and addressed the human aspect of embracing change at every stage, we could safeguard the positive value of digital transformation, now and into the future. Truth is, ultimately, people are the ones who bring in a positive change and move businesses forward. As a matter of fact, all we’ve done was equip them with the right tools to do so and to succeed.