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Is Finance Equipped to Go Mobile?

Coffee-break with GameChangers

How do you know if your organization is ready for enterprise mobility? Without a cohesive plan, all you have are a bunch of tablets and dashboards telling pieces of a story that need to be streamlined into a compelling narrative.

In a recent SAP Game-Changers radiocast, panelists Nick Castellina, research director for the Aberdeen Group’s business planning and execution practice; Kaan Turnali, global senior director of BI at SAP; and Pete Graham, director of finance solutions and enterprise mobility at SAP explore the building blocks needed to reap the benefits of mobile solutions:

  1. Active executives who are technology champions, leading by example
  2. Effective tools that lend themselves to new mobile strategies
  3. Passionate employees who can work mobile technology to your company’s advantage

CFOs are going mobile with more than lip service

If any group needs mobile solutions to be part of its daily life, it’s the C-suite. According to Castellina, “23% of reports today are delivered after an executive needed them to make a decision, so they are getting information and saying, ‘Well, I could have really used this yesterday.’”

What this amounts to is wasted effort, which can be rectified by putting mobile devices in executives’ hands. Aberdeen’s data shows that best-in-class organizations are more than twice as likely as the laggards to have the ability to access data on a mobile device.

Turnali agrees, saying, “The executive is keen not only to consume the data on these mobile devices, but also to apply the insight and – this is more important – derive insight from these mobile assets to [make] decisions that matter.” The CFO sets an example for the rest of his or her direct reports and their teams and recognizes the information available on these mobile BI assets as the single version of the truth – sending a clear, consistent message.

Referring to the mobile revolution, Graham muses, “It’s really allowing the CFO to get out and meet more people or be that dynamic change agent.” It’s not just business processes connecting, but people connecting across all company levels.

Spreadsheets are getting put in their place

If there’s one thing that screams “Dark Ages” in finance, it’s reliance on that lumbering cave creature known as the spreadsheet. Castellina, however, believes that we’ll never truly rid ourselves of it – employees are just too used to it. Many companies now take a “beyond spreadsheets” approach as it relates to its mobile devices. What they view may mimic the look of a spreadsheet and be simple for a business user to navigate, but it’s more nuanced than opening Excel on your smartphone – a vast improvement considering how difficult Excel can be to navigate.

Millennials are ushering in a new era of adept mobile adoption

All organizations crave innovation without disruption. And there is no bigger disruption than instituting a mobile policy that no one knows how to use.

Fortunately, more millennials are entering the workplace, and these digital natives can pick up new technology and run with it. This new generation of employees expects to be granted mobile access to do their job – giving employers even more incentive to invest in enterprise mobility. The savviest, most qualified prospects will want to work in organizations that are on the vanguard of mobile technology.

As mobile solutions become more embedded into finance processes, you’ll be capable of running your entire office from a smartphone or tablet – and enterprise mobility will be a natural part of the process.

To learn more about what it takes to implement a viable mobile strategy, listen to the full radiocast.