How can reporting catch up with an accelerating world?
Applying innovative technologies and new operating models to deliver a new age of responsive reporting
Many reporting teams do not have the information systems and data tools they need to extract forward-looking insights from large, fast-changing and wide-ranging data sets. Leading organizations are looking to make the right investment decisions in more agile technologies, addressing their technology and data analytics skills gaps, and actively exploring the future of reporting technology, including blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation.
Many reporting teams are not set up to meet their stakeholders’ needs for real-time information, delivered at speed and with no errors. Delivery challenges — from fragmented processes to time-consuming manual workarounds — are slowing their response. Leading organizations are making increased use of more streamlined and centralized operating model arrangements, from centers of excellence (CoEs) to shared services centers (SSCs); pursuing greater agility and tackling complexity; and driving process excellence and harmonization.
Reporting leaders will need to manage a range of significant challenges as they plot their path to more responsive reporting. They will need to tackle the complex legacy IT environment, using innovative new technologies — such as robotics — to find agile answers to systems and data fragmentation, and make use of the flexibility offered by cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS). They should strike a balance between central control and local needs and regulatory requirements, ensuring they engage key local stakeholders in the transformation process and building the pool of finance business partners.
Three areas are critical to creating a more responsive delivery model for reporting — strategy and vision, technology and data, and people. First, organizations should define a bold strategy and vision for the future operating model for reporting. Second, they should create a future-proofed technology and data strategy for reporting that exploits the potential of innovative technologies and data analytics tools. Third, they should build skills and capability in critical new areas, from predictive analytics to the intersection of AI and reporting.