As an IT Department, you are regularly solicited by the business people when their tools reach functional limits or see their performance degrade. So, the management controllers will turn to you if their Excel consolidation processes show signs of weakness such as slow computation on large volumes, lack of consistency checks, multiplication of file versions, uncertainty about the levels of validation… There you are in search of an alternative…
Keep the management control application in Excel
For a CIO, allowing the business people to take the initiative to choose or build their tools while accompanying them, this is certainly the best way to ensure that they have solutions in tune with their needs. And then, we can deprive the Excel of the management controller, whom he masters Excel knowledge perfectly? Certainly not… But it’s not wrong to inform him about the limits of his favourite spreadsheet, especially when the collection processes are expanding and the formulas of calculation are becoming more complex.
On the other hand, the development on Excel as an application for management control has accompanied wonderfully the growth of the company in recent years: an opening of subsidiaries, reorganisation, and acquisition of a historical partner. On the budget side, this avoided having to invest in an expensive, oversized and long-term EPM solution to implement. The best proposition that the IT Department can do is to restore the agile nature of management control in the collection, budgeting, analysis, and reporting while maintaining the existing developments based on the business expertise.
Secure Excel strategic data
This demand for IT security for the controlling management offers a dual opportunity to the IT Department. First of all, reliability is a key requirement for the management of the company’s performance. Having to produce simulations and reports with reduced delays, the management control must indeed have confidence in the quality of its data. Consistency checks must be introduced throughout the collection chain, with mechanisms for tracking and validating the unavoidable file versions.
Then, the IT Department can seize this opportunity to get in the IT high-value data, derived from these Excel processes, and which previously escaped it, so as to secure them and make them interoperable with the other data of the company. This will compensate for the low level of safety of the spreadsheets. And even if the data from the Excel management control processes were already reinstated in the structuring applications of the Enterprise (ERP, financial management, and Treasury, etc.) the IT Department will be able to directly connect the contents of the sheets of calculation to the organisation’s databases.
Create the Digital Workplace of the management controller
Using the Gathering Tools solution, IT Department will be able to offer management controllers the option of developing input documents (or templates) that, while carefully reproducing the Excel documents they replace, have real data structures allowing any kind of synchronisation with the rest of the Information System. These forms will take up all the existing calculation formulae, with an interface in any point similar to Excel. They will allow for consistency checks and complete traceability. The management controllers will then be able to automatically import their data and to rely on their collection and reporting process.
A real missing link between the IT and the Excel processes, Gathering Tools gives a balance to the IT Department-Business relationship. For the IT Department, it protects critical workflows and strategic data. For the business people, like management control, it leaves the freedom to design applications tailored to needs, with high levels of reliability.
The management controllers thus have, with the support of the IT Department, a digital application environment that easily adapts to the needs, in which they can draw for their different needs. For example, management controllers can adapt their process of collection, forecasting, analysis and reporting to different methods of budget management such as Rolling Forecast, zero-based budgeting and beyond budget. Through Gathering Tools, the IT Department fulfils a mission to accompany the digital transformation to equip the business entities with a digital Workplace, without compromise on the security of key processes.