Client Story: Global tech company hardwires FinOps innovation

Six key components of effective Finance transformation

Client Challenge

You’re never too big to innovate. In fact, investing in change is now essential for large companies to stay on top. A Fortune 25 global technology client brought in KPMG to provide external expertise on the latest trends and best practices in digital innovation, based on our experience with similar projects and interactions with forward-looking companies.

Specifically, the client had a goal to establish a Center of Innovation (COI) across its financial operations as part of a strategic organizational upgrade. The lead finance stakeholders sought to empower all teams under the finance umbrella to identify innovations, but then also to rapidly embed the productive new ideas into operations through the right mix of people, process and technology.

While the client had identified a core internal leadership team to drive the COI, they wanted external insights and experience to ensure they established the right COI structure for their organization, leveraging industry-leading operating models and capabilities.

Benefits to Client

Over an 8-week period, our KPMG team took the client from initial concept to a detailed 60-day playbook for its Center of Innovation (COI) rollout that was uniquely tailored to the client’s complex financial operations—and the related buy-in from dependent teams across the company. As a result, the client:

    Developed a strong foundation within 8 weeks to accelerate the successful launch of its new COI organization

    Kick-started a successful rollout by using a foundational, comprehensive KPMG playbook that outlined the key capabilities, required roles and responsibilities, an interaction model to gain support from other teams, and governance forums to ensure areas like compliance, security and data management

    Established an overarching vision and set of guiding principles that were essential to designing and operationalizing their leading-practice COI

    Leveraged a high-level “walking deck” summary of the 60-day plan to support executive sponsorship and support from other key partners across the company

KPMG Approach

Our client was committed to jump-starting digital innovation in its finance operations, and especially by looking at learnings and best practices from outside the company. They desired an innovation incubator, and so they chose KPMG as their partner because of our experience with similar projects and our insights on the effective approaches to innovation that we have seen with other clients.

To take their goal of a Center of Innovation (COI) from concept to reality—and design the best COI model for this global tech powerhouse—we started first with leadership interviews across the finance teams to assess their current perspectives, perceptions and thought processes. How did they envision a COI working? What could it do for them? Then we drilled down further via discussions with the functional teams that sat within the finance operation, from accounting and payables to finance-specific engineering and data and analytics.

After capturing those perspectives, we facilitated (held?) a series of workshops to distill them down to an overarching vision and set of guiding principles to ensure those north stars tracked through the COI rollout and ongoing implementation and expansion process.

All of this informed our final, high-level recommendation on an operating model, the innovation life cycle, and how new ideas could be generated and cascaded to the right channels, at the right time, for implementation.

Underpinning our recommendations were:

  • A capabilities framework, which helped identify the skills the finance team needed to develop and embed in their COI as a core functions for the group
  • A more detailed recommendation on the key roles they needed to fill to accelerate the COI’s development
  • An interaction model that outlined how the COI would need to engage other teams in the company—for example, technology, legal, customer service—to gain buy-in and show efficiencies for all
  • A suggested governance framework and structure to facilitate everything from compliance to executive sponsorship

After the 8 week project, the client was armed with the highly detailed 60-day launch playbook that captured all of the insights above, as well a summary presentation for executive sponsors and cross-functional partners.

The end result: from ideas to a Center of Innovation roadmap, in 8 weeks.

KPMG Insights

Start with Step 1

Digital innovation doesn’t have to mean “let’s boil the ocean.” Our large global tech client was committed to iterating its finance operations by testing innovative ideas from the start. In just 8 weeks, it was able to go from workshopping operating concepts to a detailed plan to start rolling out its Center of Innovation in a couple of key areas. And the client set its expectations accordingly: Success meant launching its COI so that it could steadily scale by identifying winning new digital innovations—one step at a time—and then rapidly embedding them into its processes.

Look Outside

No company has yet to corner the market on innovation. Be ready to look outside your company—at your competitors, sure, but even at entirely different industries—to learn what’s working in innovation and disruptive new ideas. Not every external best practice will be right for your company, but that macro view will give you a much broader perspective—and the acuity to drill down on the types of innovation that best fit your company.

Contact us

Ron Walker

Ron Walker

Finance Transformation Service Network Lead, KPMG US

Michael Kokotajlo

Michael Kokotajlo

Partner, Advisory, Finance Transformation, KPMG US