The big positive in the global economy in the last couple of months has been the strong rebound in the US economy in the second quarter.1 Service sector activity is at a six-year high and manufacturing at a three-year high. Although this is very welcome news after a sustained period of recession, it is not exceptional in the context of long term economic cycles. However, a gradual return to normal levels of growth masks another important dimension—the companies experiencing ‘hyper-growth’ and ‘hyper-change’. And for those businesses caught up in this whirlwind of high double-digit growth, global expansion, and market volatility, there has never been a greater need to maintain a tight grip on financial management and planning.
What lies behind these dramatic developments is the onset of the digital economy, with some industries, such as hi-tech, financial services, media, and retail experiencing profound changes with others such as hospitality, manufacturing, and mining moving at a slower rate. But one thing is for sure – sooner or later all businesses will become digital businesses (i.e. susceptible to technology-infused business models that will change the competitive landscape forever2).
Fascinatingly, the same technologies that are disrupting the competitive landscape are also part of the solution as far as financial management is concerned. Agile and scalable cloud-based budgeting, planning, and forecasting solutions allow the finance function to exert fingertip control by deploying financial expertise where it is needed. Pockets of spreadsheet-bound processes and manual workarounds are being replaced by automated processes and embedded workflows which not only reduce costs but also improve accessibility and process visibility. And the simplicity of modern cloud-based solutions has reduced the CFO’s reliance on the IT function, enabling the finance function to respond to ever-changing demands without major development effort.
Interested in seeing first-hand how companies in Europe are responding to the challenges of hyper-change and hyper-growth? Register now to attend one of the upcoming Hub 2014 events.
1. Stewart, Ian. Deloitte Economics and Markets Monday Briefing. Deloitte, 8 Sep. 2014. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
2. The digital advantage: How digital leaders outperform their peers in every industry. Capgemini Consulting, 2012. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.