17 OCT 2017

FROM BACK TO FRONT TO BACK AGAIN – THE BACK OFFICE IS BACK IN THE FOREFRONT OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVES

Top line driven spending

The importance of customer experience is undeniable and we have all witnessed many organisations spending a large amount of their IT budget on the latest digital channel and customer interaction technologies over the last decade. With finite resources, most sales-driven organisations have prioritised their systems spending to help drive their top line. Investments into back office to improve effectiveness and process efficiencies appear to have been treated with less significance if not taken the back seat in many organisations.

Back office transformation is back

Recent studies have pointed to a changing trend in mind-set. Organisations have started to spend a larger portion of their digital transformation IT spends on back office systems. According to an IDC study, many banks are utilising up to 82% of their digital transformation budget on middle and back office initiatives such as infrastructure, security, and risk management; as well as initiatives that involved in getting better insights into their data.

This re-focusing of IT spends has been driven by a strategic shift in bringing the back office to the forefront of many corporate transformation. Organisations are increasingly exploring the innovative use of technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotic process automation to minimise human interventions in routine tasks, and automation in back office transaction processing, to gain greater process and cost efficiencies as well as productivity.

Full circle

In a sense the corporate world has come full circle – from the early days of ERP systems adoption in the 1990s and business intelligence deployments in early 2000’s, to digital transformation initiatives that aimed at enhancing customer experience to increase their spends; and now the growing quest to leverage tools and technologies that were not previously available to enhance organisations’ capability to deliver a great customer experience whilst increasing back office efficiency, lowering costs and reducing associated risks. Enhancing enterprise value requires not only the focus to grow company’s top line, but also to address cost efficiencies where savings will go straight to the bottom line. A dollar saved is better than a dollar earned.

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