UK: Taking Management Information Out On The Road

Last Updated: 25 April 2013
Article by Deloitte LLP

We are now all using smartphones and tablets to access information, when and where we want in our personal lives. Increasingly, the same smartphones and tablets are starting to make an appearance in the office, as business people no longer want to be restricted to consuming information from a printed report or while using a PC back at their desk.

This shift is causing a headache for Finance as decision makers are now demanding information in real time without the restriction of the month-end timetable, and on the road; in the back of taxis, on trains and at the airport departure gate.

The challenge for the CFO is how to enable access to management information out on the road.

The benefits of 'Going mobile'
There are clear benefits to having your management information with you at all times.

  • Real time decision making – decision makers have the ability to review real time information to make critical business and financial decisions before it is too late to ensure a positive impact upon business performance.
  • Access to information when and where people want – individuals can access information around the clock and without the restriction of the month-end timetable. They can access the information on site, off site and while on the move.
  • Empower the business – the business has instant, direct access to information rather than relying on Finance as the gate keepers of regular management information.

Making it happen – not as complex as you might think
The benefits of mobile management information are clear and making the shift is not as complex as you might think. CFOs can transform the way in which information is consumed and decisions made. The three areas that CFOs should focus on to deliver more effective mobile management information:

  1. Engage with the CIO – you will need to consider how mobile management information is delivered (for example, by providing users with smart phones and tablets or encouraging them to use their own personal devices) and your information protected (how do you minimise the risk of information being lost or stolen when accessed remotely). The earlier you engage with the CIO to consider these questions the easier they are to resolve.
  2. Define a reporting strategy – ensure you have a clear, well documented and understood reporting strategy that explains what you report, when you report and how you report. It is important that your reporting strategy is updated to highlight how mobile management information will work alongside your existing and well established methods of reporting.
  3. Develop a proof of concept – there are lots of tools and methods available to deliver mobile management information so it is important you understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. A proof of concept will allow you to find out what works for your organisation before committing a wider implementation.

Decision makers are getting excited about mobile reporting and starting to ask the CFO to deliver management information out on the road. CFOs have the opportunity to deliver a clear business benefit that transforms the way in which decision makers consume information and positions the CFO as the owners of insight in the organisation.

Martin Jermyn
Martin is a Manager in our Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) practice. He works with technology, media and telecommunications clients, helping them to transform the way in which they plan and report. He is currently leading our focus on mobile reporting within Finance.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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