Le began his thought leadership presentation at the 2018 Financial Leadership Forum held on May 3 in Atlanta by stating he’d be talking about the transformation in Finance and how this is enabled.
“Everybody has heard the term ‘digital transformation.’ I’m going to use a different term—‘intelligent enterprise.’ Digital transformation is what’s happening to us; the intelligent enterprise is where we want to get to,” he explained.
“There are significant technology pressures on our Finance organizations—cloud computing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, blockchain, the internet of things. We have to be able to process these. There are also market and regulatory forces, and then there are competitive forces.”
Le continued, “From a Finance point of view, these forces touch every part of our organization. Finance has to see and address every single one. We accomplish digital transformation by harnessing the power of data, but first, the finance function must change its perceptions and implement a modern enterprise solution. Regarding stewardship, are you a data hoarder or do you believe in radical transparency? In terms of style, are you a barrier builder or a change agent? Does your skill set make you a numbers cruncher or a business partner?” he asked.
“We accomplish digital transformation by harnessing the power of data, but first, the finance function must change its perceptions and implement a modern enterprise solution.”
“We need to transition to radical transparency. This means all information is out there on dashboards and reports that can be accessed. We need an enterprise solution that easily and securely accesses all your data. It must be a solution that delivers powerful application services, publishes federated and trusted data, and gives every constituent access to intelligence on every device. Information doesn’t have to be owned by and reside in Finance. Finance governs the information and makes sure it’s the single source of the truth, but then it releases it to the organization. In addition, the solution must enable enterprise/departmental applications and agile data discovery,” said Le.
“Information doesn’t have to be owned by and reside in Finance. Finance governs the information and makes sure it’s the single source of the truth, but then it releases it to the organization.”
“All of this creates the intelligent enterprise, which is the ultimate data-driven organization. It anticipates challenges and opportunities and turns them into profit and growth. It delivers a single version of the truth as well as agility—scalability and speed, AI and data discovery, enterprise analytics and mobility. It connects to any data and distributes reports to thousands. An intelligent enterprise goes beyond business intelligence, delivering transformative insight to every user, constituent, and partner.”
“An intelligent enterprise goes beyond business intelligence, delivering transformative insight to every user, constituent, and partner.”
Le noted that the journey his organization took to becoming an intelligent enterprise required a combination of people, processes, and technology shifts. “In our role as steward, we created transparent dashboards and democratized information. We created a powerful security layer that lets people see the right information to improve their performance.” The company’s style became one of full accessibility on the web, iPhone, iPad, Android, and Alexa with full financial accountability at the business-unit level. In terms of skill set, the organization changed 75% of the financial planning and analysis (FP&A) team and created a customer-centric mindset throughout Finance. “I created a seven-stage maturity model for the intelligent enterprise. Once you plot where you are and where you want to get to, the steps are easily discoverable,” said Le.