There is a quiet revolution underway inside board rooms and executive management suites; principles of accountability, transparency and improved financial performance are being translated into demands to quantify and measure as much operational activity as possible and to correlate that activity to the business plan. The larger and more complex the businesses are, the greater the sense of urgency (or even anxiety). Operational mandates are being handed down to better plan activities across the business, ensure proper measurement of those activities and to have the mechanisms in place to appropriately adjust targeted activities to yield better business outcomes - higher revenue and lower costs all within a defined level of risk.
There are two conflicting drivers of this revolution (with the foundation, as always, being the normal demands of the capital markets to deploy capital most efficiently and with the highest return at the lowest defined risk). The first is globalization and the free flow of capital to lower cost countries. The second is enhanced demands by the capital markets for transparency and for better measurement of a business' risk versus other outlets for that capital.
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