You are tasked with reducing G&A costs - where do you start? Identiyfing what you can outsource?
Read on to learn what else you can do...
We recently discussed 2016 goals with the senior management of a Fortune 500 company. Their number one priority was to reduce millions of dollars in G&A expenses - and the most obvious way to achieve this was outsourcing back office business processes. This story is the same across many companies in America today, tasked with squeezing out more through operational efficiencies.
But aren’t these business processes in place to make the organization more efficient, manageable and productive?
Cloud and Mobile - your business applications still work the same
While businesses strive to radically simplify consumer experiences for the products they build, almost no effort has been made to simplify boring back office processes like procurement, finance, accounting, and HR. The ERP systems of yesterday have taken on SaaS and mobile avatars, which at best provide incremental benefits and a better user experience. However the business processes per se have remained the same.
An employee who needs to buy a widget or book a business travel or claim an expense, fills in information that is required - complying with business policies. Different departments then intervene to provide analysis, there are approval workflow rules, and ultimately a decision is made.
But how about not having these ‘processes’ in the first place?
Artificial Intelligence powering the next generation of business applications
If cars can figure out how to drive themselves and your mobile phone can tell you it's time to leave for work, business applications can also become more intelligent and perform routine tasks and processes, so that you don't have to. And when you do have to intervene, these systems only gets smarter and learn from you to do it better next time.
So what are the key attributes that such intelligent systems need to have?
- Tracking of events and employee needs has to be ambient – this could mean being smart enough to read and understand emails, tweets, etc. (e.g. understand prospect/customer communication, or request for meetings, upcoming travel and meetings)
- Collection of data and research is automated – bring in related information, comparisons, and historical information not only from inside the organization but also tap the knowledge outside (Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data!) Research at this scale unravels insights unmatched by humans today.
- Finally, decision making is metrics based – reasoning and judgment is more of a science. ‘Business processes’ happen in the background and only anomalies that are detected and backed by metrics really require human intervention
How it Impacts You - The Bottom-line
This exponentially impacts everyday back office business processes: reducing costs, increasing controls, improving efficiency not only by reducing the need for G&A resources but also eliminating non-core time spent by employees, allowing them to focus on the core needs of the business!
If you have the goals to reduce your G&A costs - outsourcing is a short term solution, but along with reducing costs, you also aim to improve employee efficiency, the workplace environment and making employees happy - lookout for the next generation artificial intelligence enterprise applications that can supercharge your back office.