December 2018: What We’re Reading

By The Center Team on December 20, 2018

News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—revisiting employee retention, the new CFO mandate, charting the course to IPO, and more.

We’re here to help you make your business spending more intelligent, connected, and strategic. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.

Employee Perks Might Not Be as Effective As You Think They Are
Julie Leonhardt LaTorre for Entrepreneur | @Entrepreneur

Free food and ping pong tournaments are great hooks to bring in new hires, but all the breakfast cereal in the world isn’t going to help if employees are feeling dissatisfied. Don’t overlook the biggest perk of all: empowering people to excel at the job they were hired to do.

It’s a simple equation: Hire well, trust and empower these individuals to be their best selves; then show them you appreciate that they are doing so.

The New CFO Mandate: Prioritize, Transform, Repeat
Ankur Agrawal, Kapil Chandra, Priyanka Prakash, and Ishaan Seth, McKinsey & Co for CFO  | @CFO

The CFO role is broader and more complex than it was even two years ago. Research indicates that the number of functional areas reporting to CFOs has grown by more than 50% since 2016. How does the modern CFO manage traditional functions while dedicating more time to new, harder-to-define responsibilities?

Finance organizations are increasingly becoming critical owners of company data — sometimes referred to as the ‘single source of truth’ for their organizations — and, therefore, important enablers of organizational transformations.

Roadmap to a SAAS IPO: How to Unicorn Your Way to $100M Revenue
Stéphane Nasser | @StephNass

Leading entrepreneurs and investors have published a wealth of metrics illustrating what makes a successful SaaS startup. When you pull those numbers into one spreadsheet, an interesting picture of the path from inception to IPO emerges.

In SaaS companies at scale, the average revenue per employee stands at $200,000.

How Much are Redundant Software Apps Costing You?
Flexera | @flexera

Have all the software you need, but use all the software you have. Seems easy enough, right? But duplicate apps and mismanaged licenses make it hard to track what you’re spending, where that money’s going, and who is using what. Is a software free-for-all costing you big in the long run?

Gartner says cloud spending will represent 24 percent of the IT budget by 2020 while at the same time, 30 percent of software license costs are wasted through insufficient management. That’s a lot of waste.

State of Startups 2018
First Round Review | @FRCReview

In this year’s State of the Startup survey, researchers gathered data from more than 500 founders on their priorities and challenges. The outlook is largely positive, with 70% of founders building for growth, and almost half of the respondents confident they’ll be profitable in less than 3 years. But a whopping 66% are still kept up at night thinking about hiring the right people.

Founders’ hardest hires continue to be in sales and engineering, and they still can’t imagine that raising their next round of financing will get any easier. But founders also retain their inherent optimism: year on year, they’ve never wavered in their belief that now is as good a time as ever to start a company.

The Best HR is Invisible
Lars Schmidt for Fast Company | @FastCompany

More and more businesses are embracing a new approach to HR based on partnership, accountability, and shared outcomes.

Contemporary HR is more focused on providing strategic value to drive business outcomes. The focus is less on control and ownership, and more on understanding and aligning the people strategy to business goals, supporting and empowering the employees to do their best work.