How many of you are old enough to remember the 1970s TV show, The Six Million Dollar Man?
A quick plot summary for readers younger than me: An astronaut is nearly killed in a devastating crash. A clandestine government organization saves his life by making him a test subject for their top-secret “bionics” program, turning him into a robotically enhanced super-spy.
In the show’s opening sequence, one of the characters pronounced every week that they made him, “Better. Stronger. Faster.”
A similar mantra has resurfaced in this age of emerging technologies, but not about bionics—or even robotics. Instead, it’s about ordinary people like you and me, working in finance and HR, and how we can make better, smarter, faster decisions when we work more closely together. The role that technology plays is as an enabler, allowing the sharing of better information across line-of-business silos.
My colleague Indy Bains recently wrote about the trend towards closer collaboration between finance and HR. A recent report from MIT Technology Review found that 35 percent of companies plan to create a shared finance and HR function within the next year. The reasons for this move include increased operational efficiency, better reporting, and improved decision-making.
The trend towards a joint finance/HR function is gaining traction because software—in particular, the cloud—is making it much easier to move in this direction. A joint finance and HR cloud—with a single data model, continuous updates and innovations, mobile accessibility, and shareable dashboards and reports—makes it much easier for finance and HR teams to share information across lines of business and work together on staffing, hiring, and strategic direction.
Changing business requirements are also driving the trend towards closer collaboration. Finance leaders are being asked to take a more active role in defining business strategies, which requires a strong understanding of the company’s talent and resourcing needs. In turn, HR leaders need a clear view of each team’s budgets and strategic priorities if they are to recruit and retain the right people.
Moreover, both lines of business need the ability to shift gears quickly to keep pace with disruptive business models and emerging technologies (such as robotics, AI and machine learning, among others).
By moving systems to the cloud, the human resource function gains flexibility, reduces costs and improves its ability to innovate, while better aligning itself with the company’s strategic goals. Likewise, moving finance operations to the cloud leads not just to cost savings, but also to a business transformation that can boost the finance function’s strategic role in the organization.
In an upcoming webcast, KPMG and Oracle will take a closer look at these trends, and how a unified finance/HR cloud can enable better, smarter, faster business decisions. This webinar will help you:
Attendance at this webinar qualifies as one CPE (continuing professional education) credit. Please register for “Achieve Better, Faster, and Smarter Business Outcomes with Finance and HR Together,” presented by CFO.com.