Digital tools and innovative technologies are everywhere. It’s now possible to have a package delivered by drone within hours of placing an order, replace your television with a smart phone or tablet, and share the road with a self-driving vehicle.
Across all industries, this digital transformation is fundamentally changing how businesses operate, and how you deliver value to your customers and employees. New innovations are revolutionizing products and processes — even business models. They’re also shaking up corporate culture, as companies become more nimble and ask staff to collaborate across traditional department lines.
Finance is no exception. In the next 3 to 5 years, over 90% of treasury leaders believe evolving digital capabilities will significantly alter how they do their jobs.1
A transformation strategy keeps treasury in control
Yet as a treasury professional — and not an IT native — navigating this new, highly technical environment can be daunting. You need to manage your legacy systems, simultaneously evaluate emerging tools, and work with different resources. A digital transformation strategy is critical to success.
A strong plan mitigates your risk, motivates your people, and focuses the entire organization on a common set of technology priorities. It helps you optimize your investment, operate efficiently, and most importantly, stay in control during a time of rapid change.
A strong plan envisions a better way to work
As you create your plan, it helps to view digital transformation as a journey, rather than a one-time project. Digital transformation is how you get from where you are today, to your ideal vision for treasury management. Your strategy is the roadmap that shows your destination — treasury’s ultimate goal — then marks out the most important milestones along the way.
Follow these best practices to develop your digital transformation strategy:
- Set a manageable scope. Just as you can’t visit two places at once, your strategy should tackle one area of treasury at a time. Consider starting with your procure-to-pay or order-to-cash cycle, or how you manage liquidity and working capital.
- Build on your legacy systems. You’ve made a substantial investment in your ERP, customer service system, and payment portals. Your digital strategy should acknowledge these platforms and use them as a starting point. Take an honest inventory of what works, and where opportunities for improvement exist. Document your work flows — and your work-arounds — as well as data sources and their quality.
- Envision a better way to work. This step focuses on your destination: the best possible work flow and experience. Here, it’s important to think differently and question the status quo approach, in order to truly transform.Conduct one or more brainstorming sessions to generate your wish list — but stay focused on what you’d like to achieve, rather than how, or a list of features. Consider your customers, stakeholders, suppliers, or employees, and figure out their most important business problems and needs.
- Invite the right team. Mapping out your journey should be inclusive and cross-functional. Treasury leadership should champion the process, then seek input from executive stakeholders and lines of business. Front-line finance staff are ideal when assessing your current state.Outside perspectives — from your bank or ERP vendor — can offer objective feedback and valuable real-world examples. IT staff who have a strategic, enterprise-wide role will be most useful. A strong working relationship with IT is vital, so treasury’s plan dovetails with the overall corporate roadmap.
Once your strategy’s complete, share it often — but update it sparingly. It’s important to socialize your roadmap and use it to measure progress. However, staying on course is essential. Reserve updates for major changes in organizational direction, such as a merger or acquisition, or a significant change in treasury’s role.
For more information, contact your Wells Fargo representative or fill out the Contact Us form on this site.