It’s better to disrupt than be disrupted

| February 12, 2016

Sneza Pelusi from Deloitte Private explains why it’s a good idea to disrupt your own industry from the inside out.

Professional services firms are often seen as straight edge, process driven, change adverse organisations that don’t embrace technology or innovation as readily as other ‘savvier’ industries.

At Deloitte however, we have been challenging that notion for years and have built a culture of embracing innovation and change for decades by actively disrupting our industry from the inside out.

We see it as a critical factor to outpacing our competitors and providing our clients a service that gives them a distinct competitive advantage. We’ve proven to be pretty successful at it too, by developing and launching the transformative Deloitte Private Connect for our clients two years ago.

The driving force behind this innovation was digital disruption. It’s at the forefront of any sharp executive’s mind and something all business owners should be aware of, and ready to embrace. This is driven by five macro forces: digital; analytics; cloud; the renaissance of core systems; and the changing role of IT within the enterprise.

Over the past few years the old concept of accounting as simply a necessary back-office process has been challenged. The increase and mass-uptake of cloud-based accounting platforms, such as Intuit, MYOB and Xero, as well as our clients’ propensity to turn towards digital alternatives, warned us that traditional practice – and in fact our entire way of doing business – was on a short fuse and in need of innovation. Our industry was on the verge of disruption, and we decided we would be the ones to effect it.

We poured significant resources into gaining a deeper understanding of our client’s needs and how cloud technology could help their businesses maintain competitive advantage well into the future. Our research showed that without the day to day stress of running a business, entrepreneurs would have time to work on what really mattered to their success. With these insights we decided to overhaul how our accounting and taxation services were delivered to our clients, and thus Deloitte Private Connect was born.

The solution combines the benefits of cloud-based accounting technology with a suite of business apps that populate an interactive dashboard, to deliver a full end-to-end financial management solution supported by business advice. This includes bookkeeping, accounting, compliance, business advice and management reporting. Connect integrates with cloud accounting software, such as Xero, MYOB and Intuit, and provides a clear view of the business metrics in real-time, via an online, intuitive dashboard accessible anywhere on any device via the cloud.

Put simply, Deloitte Private Connect transforms the way business owners experience accounting services. It enables them to simplify and improve the daily management of their businesses, while working side by side with their accountant as a true advisor to help them overcome challenges and capitalise on opportunities in their business.

Testament to our commitment to continue to disrupt our industry with innovation is the fact that in 2015, for the third year running, we made it into BRW’s 50 most innovative companies. Our Chief Strategy Officer, John Meacock explains disruption as an ‘S’ curve: “it starts out slowly, and then boom – it hits you! So, we have learnt to embed innovation in everything we do, as a key part of our culture and the way we work. Championing a culture of innovation also informs our ability to create solutions and provide advice that helps our clients stay ahead of the disruption curve.”

We have found the key for enterprise businesses to survive and thrive is to embrace the opportunities that the ‘digital disruption’ trend presents. Entrepreneurs should move now so that they don’t miss out on the opportunities to gain a key competitive advantage. We can sit back, hope for the best and wait for the world to change us, or we can adapt now and be a player in changing the world.

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Sneza Pelusi

Sneza Pelusi is Managing Partner at Deloitte Private. Her areas of expertise are leading relationships in the middle market, auditing Infrastructure and construction companies, and talent development.