How CFOs Can Become Business Leaders Through Digital Transformation

How CFOs Can Become Business Leaders Through Digital Transformation

The speed in which technology evolves can be a little overwhelming. Think about what was considered innovative and cutting edge just over two years ago. They may not have that same claim today because of consistent evolution and efficiency. This is what digital transformation is about. It is when companies see themselves changing alongside current technologies to help them better their business and stay competitive. 

However, this does not happen overnight and there will always be some pushback to change. This is true especially for companies that relied on traditional business strategies and have difficulty transforming themselves digitally. As the old saying goes for them, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The new reality is that businesses are broader, more global and more accessible than ever before. To put it bluntly, not embracing and adapting to these changes will cause companies to fall behind with their reduced competitiveness.

This also highlights the importance of having leadership within digital transformation. In the finance industry for instance, CFOs should be some of the first people to welcome new technologies and the perks digital transformation can bring. 

Data Drives Business

Today’s business world is defined by data. No matter how you look at or cut it, data is an important resource for all businesses today. CFOs in particular are responsible for handling sensitive, financial data each day. If companies want to stay relevant and competitive, they must be aware of how important accurate data is. With the amount of data needed to be processed already, it will surely increase in the coming years. CFOs must know this and make real-time decisions to real-time problems through digital data visualization.

Many CFOs that do not adapt digitally will struggle on how to handle the weight of too much data. This includes preserving data integrity. Ideally, having a data-centric organisation that works from one source of information requires a holistic understanding of the business’ data needs and output from a strategic and operational point of view.

Modern Challenges Require Modern Solutions

When finance roles were first outsourced, they mostly focused on the administrative side. In the past, companies only looked at cash flow accounting and reporting to stakeholders. Today however, finance roles are in a consultative capacity that set objectives and solve issues across the business. By providing accurate forecasting and budgeting data, finance roles have steadily evolved into what they can truly bring. 

CFOs can take a more active role as a strategy builders.

As the industry evolves, so do the roles of many CFOs. They create strategic decisions based on a company’s financial outlook. Their views of cost and revenue drivers for protecting profit margin are valuable as they help grow the organization. CFOs can effectively do this by having access to real-time information to make better data-driven decisions.

Leading the Business

Finance functions are a critical part of any business and the decision making that goes into it.  CFOs must take on the roles of being enablers of change. Becoming leaders in the digital transformation allows them to do this and adapt their functions. They have the most comprehensive visibility into their organisation’s data foundations. In turn, this visibility lets them become the eyes and ears of a business when making better data-driven decisions. They also determine any future data needs for digital transformation and resource requirements. 

As exciting as it sounds, digital transformation does not happen instantly. It is a gradual process that requires focused commitment from everyone in a company, not just the CFO. It can be adapted as a new kind of business model which means a different type of customer engagement. Through offshoring, adapting to these fast-paced changes has never been easier and more productive.

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Diversify’s Virtual Year End Event

Diversify’s Virtual Year End Event

With 2020 nearly coming to a close, many of us are ready to put such a trying year behind us. For us at Diversify, we’ve been open about the challenges – both immediate and long term – that we faced this year. One of the things that were important to us was retaining the engagement we had with our teams during such uncertain times. Through our virtual huddles, we’ve managed to keep the spirit alive. For Halloween, we made it a much bigger get together with everything from costume contests to live musical performances. This became the blueprint of our biggest virtual celebration for 2020.

Our celebration this year had a theme of a virtual galaxy, entitled Elements. In it, we wanted to capture the same spirit and energy our traditional year end parties had. The difference now is that it would but within a virtual space. After much creative and innovative planning, the idea behind Elements was born. It was three straight days of celebrating all Diversify accomplished – big or small – despite all that 2020 had to offer.

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Our virtual year-end celebration began last Wednesday, December 9th which served as a “kick-off party ” to the actual event. We wanted to give everyone a glimpse of what to expect by the week’s end. Prior to our virtual kick-off event, our management team delivered celebratory party packages to all members of the Diversify family. We wanted everyone to be ready for the eventual party, while also staying safe from their homes.

Livestream interviews with some members of the Diversify team

To do this, we showcased some of our previous year end party videos to everyone virtually. Whether it was our Outrageous celebration from 2017 or our most recent Ethereal outing, we wanted to show what these year-end celebrations meant. Some long time Diversify team members got nostalgic seeing the company consistently growing as the group photos got more bigger. Some also had a chance to speak to the newer members of the Diversify family to share their experiences that evening.

A Cause for Celebration 

The following day, we had a special dinner honoring all our Core Value Champions for the year. In a time with so much uncertainty, a number of Diversify employees still managed to inspire and exemplify the values the company is founded on. These individuals were advocated by their fellow co-workers who saw the impact they had on others. Despite the many challenges this year, our Core Value Champions kept the Diversify spirit alive, showing what it truly meant to be part of the company. 

On Friday, December 11th we capped off the festivities with our main event, our virtual Year End Party. Similar to our virtual Halloween huddle, Diversify employees dressed up in their best elemental-themed outfit and gathered together via Zoom. With party packages on hand, we managed to still enjoy the merriment that came with our year end parties. Managing Director Angela Vidler gave her heartfelt year-end speech, highlighting not only what we managed to accomplish, but being proud of how we banded together to achieve all that we did. 

A virtual raffle draw is just as exciting as the real thing.

As is tradition, Elements was also an evening where we honoured some long-tenured team members as service awardees. Some lucky individuals also won exciting raffle prizes that ranged from electric scooters, gaming consoles and tablets. The most exciting part of the evening however was always going to be the performances that defined our parties. This year, however, Diversify teams innovated and sent in video performances that highlighted the Hits of 2020. Also sticking with tradition, it was indeed difficult to choose which among the teams had the most stand out performance! There was no better way to end the virtual year-end festivities than with that.

Gratitude and A Look Ahead

In her speech, Angela wished she could celebrate 2020’s achievements in Manila as she has done every year. With that, she also stated that “gratitude” was her biggest takeaway this year as Diversify’s Managing Director. Regardless of all the major uncertainties this year, she took pride in how Diversify undertook all these challenges. She remained both thankful for what Diversify has become and hopeful for everyone’s future. Despite 2021 being up in the air for many, there was still an optimistic air that many took to heart. 

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How Companies Benefit From An Offshore Team

How Companies Benefit From An Offshore Team

Despite numerous technological advances, offshoring still has negative connotations. Some consumers see offshoring as being provided low level services. This often depends on the country offering these services and its reliability in maintaining quality services. Some service providers still use traditional strategies as well. They are more focused on reaching required metrics rather than focusing on the quality of their services. 

Why Offshoring Is A Viable Strategy

Considering today’s global situation, these are all legitimate concerns. It’s understandable for people to criticise companies that offshore their business operations. However, most need to recognise that businesses face unseen challenges they may not be aware of or fully understand. 

When boiled down to its core, there are four primary reasons why companies choose to offshore. Let’s take a look at them.

Offshoring Is Cost Effective

Businesses are constantly seeking ways to maintain a stable source of revenue. At the same time, they have to sustain their daily operations to stay competitive. However, as we’ve seen this year, there are unpredictable fluctuations in the economy to consider. To that end, most companies cannot just maintain local costs for certain roles. 

Quality CSRs are essential for any company to thrive.

That is when offshoring becomes an enticing option for them. Consider for a moment the cost of hiring a local customer service representative. In Australia, their annual salary costs an average of $50,000 a year. Compared to an offshored CSR in the Philippines, their salaries are almost a quarter of this price. This also does not translate into a lowered quality of work. Businesses, therefore, can redirect their resources by reducing some overhead costs. Their local workforce can then focus more on their core competencies, increase productivity, and prioritise revenue-generating tasks.

Offshoring Lets Them Stay Competitive

Earlier, we mentioned the need for businesses to stay competitive. For that to happen, they need to increase efficiency, enhance operations and innovate on delivering quality service. Offshoring allows companies to offer high value services such as 24/7 customer support and provide effective service level tasks with flexible work schedules.

In our interconnected world, businesses of all sizes are competing on a global stage. This means that innovation is becoming a major factor in determining success. The constant demand for efficient, personalised customer service for instance makes it more challenging to stay relevant.

Offshoring Addresses Skill Shortage

It cannot be argued how alarming unemployment is today. The declining number of available opportunities globally is often why most people disagree with offshoring. However, despite this situation, several industries are struggling with how to overcome the skill shortages. 

Through offshoring, companies discovered that they could hire a team of highly qualified staff in countries like the Philippines. They discovered valuable, motivated team members ready to take on functions like back-office tasks often overlooked by local employees.

Offshoring Provides High Quality Work

Companies must innovate on how to have an efficient process flow within their business. It allows them to enhance the quality of their products and services offered. Through modern technology, they now have full control over their offshore team, enabling them to ensure quality standards are reached. 

As noted earlier, offshoring back-office tasks is valuable to any company. Keep in mind however the quality of offshored services may vary from each country. Depending on the goals your business aims to achieve, it is best to look at which country can provide you the best team. China, for instance, is king when it comes to production and manufacturing. On the other hand,, offshoring customer service representatives to the Philippines continues to be ideal. The talent and skill that the global workforce offers are irreplaceable. They can be effectively harnessed by companies to reach their long-term goals.

Redefining Offshoring

Offshoring, like any other strategy, is not a perfect approach. If not paired with the right partner, it can be prone to abuse and used just for cutting costs. Most of all, offshoring should not be seen as a replacement for your current, local staff. Instead, it should be used to augment your current team for the further growth of your business. That is why this strategy needs to be carefully customised and tailor-fit with the company’s needs without disrupting ongoing operations.

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Five Essential IT Functions You Can Outsource

Five Essential IT Functions You Can Outsource

It should come as no surprise that IT functions are often what companies look to outsource first. In the history of outsourcing (and the BPO industry by extension), IT functions were among the first roles remote teams got to adopt. 

In the years since, both the BPO industry and IT roles have evolved. What began as just providing in-office support branched out into more facets that help a company online. As the changes came, so did the challenges. For one thing, companies will talk about how it can end up being a costly endeavor and not something that can be done occasionally. Outsourcing, therefore, becomes a much more viable alternative. Companies looking to strengthen their IT needs can get the results they need at a lesser cost with remote teams. 

Essential IT Functions to Outsource

With the evolution of today’s business climate, the range of IT functions companies can outsource also grew. With more objectives being met at a more rapid rate, outsourcing newer functions was inevitable.

Here are five vital IT functions that your business should consider sending to an outsourcing provider.

Software Development

Software development is a sought after IT function by companies. An outsource software developer lets companies work with experienced professionals in a cost effective manner. What’s more, they also help reduce risks, allow for more flexibility and develop focused strategies. If there is a lack of local or in-house experience, outsourced software development can be a great boon for any company.

Web Design and Development

It cannot be overstated just how important web development is for companies. As more people today are browsing online, it is essential that a company’s online presence stands out. To be quite frank, companies that do not have a defined presence online and just rely on their social media reach will fall behind. Working with an experienced web designer not only makes sure you stand out, but can at a reduced cost.

Web and software developers are the backbone of a company’s online presence.

While a website’s presentation is important, so is the overall functionality. A business’ website may have all the content and branding it needs to win people over. However, if it is constantly plagued by errors or does not properly display on mobile devices, potential customers and clients will react negatively.

Email management

There is often a misconception that email management just means filtering out spam or automating responses when needed. For some companies, mManaging an entire email account may not even be on their list. As stated earlier however, the rapid rate of today’s business environment means a high volume stream of emails daily.

By outsourcing email management, you not only address the daily queries that your company gets, but a well-equipped outsourced IT team offers protection against common digital attacks. They can organize cluttered inboxes and can also provide regular reporting of high priority messages.

Managed hosting

As a business grows, so should the IT infrastructure that scales along with them. Experienced outsourcing providers are able to scale any IT infrastructure required of them. This is especially the case when there is a need for dedicated servers beyond their local office. 

Through outsourced managed hosting, companies can also access and use a shared exclusive server with protections in place. By doing this, your hosting providers can adjust their infrastructure based on particular conditions at any time. You anticipate when massive influxes are coming into your website, then scaling back to a more manageable approach.

Data center outsourcing

Most third-party outsourcing providers offer data processing and resources for companies. This is often the case when the company’s own IT department is unable to handle it. From data collection to data storage and backup, maintenance and updates, having a trained staff on-hand can help ease the processes that come with data center outsourcing.

Keeping Your Business Competitive

The number of outsourced IT functions will only grow and develop as technology gets better. As a cost saving approach, outsourcing is second to none, especially when it comes to its IT roots. More than that, companies that opt to outsource will be collaborating with an experienced provider that can meet their goals.

Diversify is fully equipped to handle IT functions ready to be outsourced with teams that can take on these responsibilities. Contact us today to get started.

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Debunking Remote Work Myths

Debunking Remote Work Myths

There’s no two ways about it: remote work is the new reality for many companies today. Due to the current global pandemic, office-based teams suddenly found themselves working straight from their homes with different resources. It’s been a few long months and by now, many have been able to find their new routines and approaches to working from home. After all, the scenery may have changed, but work is work wherever you do it from. 

It certainly has not been without its challenges. The biggest hurdle is its acceptance as the current standard for what traditional office work once was. To that end, several questions have arisen over what working from home really means. Yes, change can be risky, especially with uncertain times ahead, but it’s also best to understand what remote work really means and how it affects the people doing it.

Not Just About Casual Wear and Pillows

On the surface, the idea of working from home sounds too good to be true. Doing your daily tasks but in casual clothes, on your sofa and your pet nearby is the dream. However, it’s impressions like these that overlook some of the real challenges that remote work brings. Despite some immediate benefits, working from home is just as challenging as being in the office. This may also stem some other erroneous impressions on what working from home is about. Here are some of the most common misconceptions and what they truly mean.

“Working from home has more distractions, leading to less productivity.” 

When people think “working from home,” most will think about working on your bed or browsing somewhere else. The notion being that traditional work policies will be difficult to implement, making teams more distracted and less productive. The transition from office to remote work can be taxing, and distractions will happen. But once teams find their groove and adapt to this new normal, they will end up becoming as productive as they were in the office.  Organized team members can keep themselves on task, know when to take breaks and compound their dedication to their tasks. 

It is also likely that teams will still be as busy as you were, with no time for distractions. This is especially true with customer service roles, where teams will need to interact with others. As noted earlier, the location may be different, but the work is still the same.

“There will be no meaningful working relationships and can be lonely.”

Companies take great pride in cultivating and nurturing their office culture. For some, it is even part of their core values. Often, this culture means fostering strong professional relationships with others that help boost productivity. With more people needing to work from home, making the effort to develop these relationships just isn’t there anymore. Some will say they prefer working alone, but that does not mean needing to be lonely as well. 

Face to face conversations in the office are certainly missed by many.

While those daily water cooler chats and cubicle conversations are currently difficult to do, there are ways around it. With consistent communication and check-ins, those relationships can still continue to develop even amidst a pandemic. Using readily available tools like email, voice and video chat should be encouraged so that these uncertain times do not have to be lonely.

“Working from home upends what work-life balance means.” 

Transitioning a team from office to remote work is more than just taking your work home. It means revamping your entire schedule and usual routines to fit this new normal. We’ve seen stories of people struggling to maintain their previous schedules, due to easily maintaining their work–life balance before. Indeed, for people who are used to working at a set schedule, being able to go home at a certain time meant not needing to think about work and to keep focus on yourself. The thought of taking work “home” upends a balance that they are often comfortable with. 

Finding the right balance of working at home continues to be a challenge for some.

This is why good management is important. Many today are struggling to see even a physical difference between “work” and “life” hours. Those who are accustomed to remote work know what it means to find a new balance. This can certainly be achieved with a supportive management staff that can help them ease into this transition. 

A Helping Hand 

We hope that by better understanding these work from home myths lets you see why it will need to thrive in today’s global situation. Even before the pandemic, many already saw the benefits of remote work without needing to deal with stressful, uncertain circumstances. As seen in these instances, working from home isn’t as easy as it sounds. It still requires the same amount of commitment, focus and effort from teams as if they were still in an office. With a new yet familiar setting, it remains a challenge for some to regain their previous level of productivity. However, with enough support and communication, teams will no doubt thrive efficiently. Flexibility has always been what made today’s business environment unique, and we are certainly seeing why.

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