Building Smarter Businesses: Staying Relevant in a Cloud Accounting World
They are pretty interesting commercials, and they get you thinking. You know what I mean: those IBM commercials about developing models for the prediction of traffic conditions in Singapore, and “infusing intelligence into the systems and processes that make the world work”. What they’re saying makes sense, but most business owners would likely say that it addresses bigger issues and doesn’t really speak to them.
The Wikipedia entry on Smarter Planet is introduced as “a corporate initiative [which] seeks to highlight how forward-thinking leaders in business, government and civil society around the world are capturing the potential of smarter systems to achieve economic growth, near-term efficiency, sustainable development and societal progress”. You see, the ability to leverage technology to collect data and analyze that data in real time can make a huge difference, whether it is in a small business or a global system. With an intelligent approach to enabling the enterprise, we can build smarter businesses and introduce new relevance for accounting and finance professional involved with them.
“Together, we have to consciously infuse intelligence into our decision-making and management systems, not just infuse our processes with more speed and capacity . . . We are moving into the age of the globally integrated and intelligent economy, society and planet. The question is, what will we do with that?” IBM chief executive Sam Palmisano
Our software and systems have reached the point where data collection and raw business intelligence is being gathered in real time by businesses small and large. This new world of information management is no longer focusing on paper-based systems or business process automation; this is the world of real time information, big data and analysis.
For accounting and finance professionals, this is your time. Accounting is not simply the final dumping ground for after-the-fact financial data; it is the department responsible for turning collected data into actionable information. Data is just data, but information is power.
Information management and computing paradigms are shifting, and for accounting and finance professionals, the solution to the relevance problem is quite simple: shift your thinking of what accounting and finance is, and use it to your advantage.
The competitive landscape for businesses of all kinds is changing along with the progress and adoption of technology. Accounting professionals in particular should be paying close attention to what’s happening out there, and learning to use the tools which will help them find the patterns and trends in the system which can help to forecast more accurately – coming closer to having that crystal ball than ever before.
Whether the attention is on small business or large enterprise, accounting professionals and information management specialists need to work together, and use the cloud and connected technologies to help achieve the benefits of growth, efficiency, sustainable development and progress envisioned by the Smarter Planet initiative.