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Disruptive technologies demand radical change in corporate controlling

New CAMELOT study views digitalization as the driving force behind a paradigm shift in controlling

Mannheim, July 26th, 2017 – Artificial intelligence, predictive analytics and other new digital technologies demand a fundamental reorientation of company controlling. In order to ensure a company can continue to be managed successfully in the future in these times of digitization, controllers must become proactive, forward-looking designers. The visionary positioning of controlling allows rapid action to be taken with regard to future corporate and market developments. More than 90% of the surveyed controlling managers said they were prepared to face up to the challenges of transformation driven forward by digitization. However, less than 60% possess the required know-how. These are the key results of the latest study “Digitalization as the Driver behind the Transformation of Controlling” from the consulting specialist CAMELOT Management Consultants in cooperation with Aalen University.

“Controlling in times of digitalization doesn’t just relate to the use of new technologies. Rather, digitalization should be seen as the driver behind a fundamental change in thinking and acting, and thus also in the role of the controller”, explains Stefan Spieler, author of the study and Head of Finance & Performance Management at CAMELOT Management Consultants. “The controller of the future is a visionary who guides his company quickly and flexibly on the right path, in order to reach the desired goal.”

And this is corroborated by the results of the study: one quarter of those surveyed view the future role of controlling as far more than just a business partner of management. Digital technologies will enable controlling departments to move consistently away from perspectives based on the past, which is still very common today, and allow them to become forward-looking, proactive designers – possibly even taking over the role of a “networked value-creation system”. In a networked value-creation system, standardized activities will be automated to a significant extent. Focus will be placed on the forward-looking control of the company. Consistent and harmonized content based on internal and external sources support scenario simulations in real time and allow a flexible supply of information for the company.

Getting rid of old behavior patterns
In order to exploit the enormous possibilities provided by digitalization, well-rehearsed, traditional processes and behavioral patterns need to be questioned critically. The participants see the biggest need for transformation in the area of internal reporting (80%) and forecasting (77%). According to the surveyed companies, real-time availability and automation make a significant contribution towards improving the quality of decisions. So far, however, the inclusion of enhanced data (big data) in the decision-making process is not very widespread, and only contributing towards added value for 9% of the companies. The core challenge here is being able to channel the rising flood of information, and then extract, analyze and derive specific measures from the information that is relevant for controlling.

Speed as a key success factor
The central success factor of controlling transformation projects within the context of digitalization is the speed of the adaptation to the new social and economic conditions Innovative procedures such as Design Thinking drive forward transformation by creating an atmosphere that promotes creativity and allows companies to learn from mistakes. The resulting dynamism accelerates a company’s development process and helps to achieve continual improvement.

The multi-sector study from CAMELOT and Aalen University analyzes the status quo of controlling in times of digitalization. It highlights the various needs for change and provides an approach with specific recommendations for a successful transformation. The complete study can be obtained free of charge at www.camelot-mc.com.

For questions and inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

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