In the previous blog in this series, we looked at how financial services firms – and particularly those firms’ finance functions – can increase efficiency and accelerate innovation by adopting agile platforms.

However, financial services firms face significant challenges in implementing agile platforms, including:

  • Moving from a waterfall to an agile delivery methodology and the requirement for a just-in-time strategy.
  • The operational challenge of using short user feedback loops, along with multiple deployment events during each release. In addition, there is the challenge of establishing coherence between (automated) agile practices and existing organizational processes.
  • Building finance teams with the requisite skills is another hurdle. The organization should recognize, however, that the collaboration and multi-team dynamic that agile development provides can help solve the problem of attracting, utilizing and maintaining teams with the necessary skills. Rather than using siloed teams with many of the same skills, the cross-communication and automation embodied in agile platforms promotes an iterative, flexible, multi-team approach.
  • The lack of start-up architecture discourages some firms from considering agile platforms, but many agile platform offerings are designed to allow the existing architecture to continue operating while the cloud platform transitions the organization’s accounting systems onto the cloud.

Accenture’s recent CFO in Banking survey report identified four top priorities for CFOs: Championing the cloud, embodying a smart-tech culture, embracing innovation and utilizing (and developing) the talent pool. Agile platforms align neatly with all these objectives. The implementation of an agile platform solution helps finance make the most out of its data and maintains its progress towards digitalization.

Agile platforms are especially useful in helping finance develop and deliver new products, leading to greater profitability, new sources of insight from internal and external data feeds, and a proactive approach to regulatory change. Agile platforms also help finance transition from a control and reporting function to a forward-looking engine that can power the entire enterprise.

As finance continues to drive enterprise value, with agile platforms at the core, the full digital transformation to an intelligent enterprise should be based on the ability to sense, predict and act, led by data and informed by analytics. Accenture’s myConcerto, an SAP SE/Oracle Corporation based implementation accelerator, uses intelligent tools and pre-configured solutions to allow the harmonization of disparate systems, processes and architecture, and to compose a digital roadmap with a compelling prioritized business case. Accenture’s myConcerto allows swift deployment alongside agile practices in a managed and controlled way.

In the final post of this series, we will explore how artificial intelligence can help finance capture powerful insight to create value and support its role as a strategic partner to the firm.

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