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Why the Annual Report is Part of Our Corporate Culture – And What Readers Can Get From It
Every now and then, the question comes up of why we publish an annual report even though we don’t have to. The answer is that it means far more to us than just an annoying requirement. The annual report is also a commitment to open and transparent communications – not just with our owners, but with our employees and other stakeholders as well.
Genuine Insight Into Our Company
In turn, openness is the basis for a living dialog between equals, which to me is one of the great strengths of NTT DATA Business Solutions. Thus, the annual report, which this year is entitled “Transformation”, is also an expression of our corporate culture.
It is a reflection of this strength that is not just about facts and figures: We also want to show what makes our managers tick, and what matters to the people who make our company what it is.
That’s why, this year, we will be introducing our readers to our “heroes of (remote) working” – standing in for the many others who flexibly adapted to the new conditions during the coronavirus crisis. The Group-wide roll-out of MS Teams was an impressive collaborative feat. Our employees’ agility and dedication are a big part of why we have emerged from the crisis so well – stronger even, because we seized on the opportunities quickly and straightforwardly.
The Coronavirus Crisis: A Driving Factor in Innovation and Transformation
Besides this as well, people are at the heart of our annual report: Readers will learn, for example, who is responsible for the exciting innovations and projects in our Group. And, thanks to a number of interviews, they can form an impression of what motivates our management, what they think of the latest developments and what their goals are.
This begins with the executive interview – this year was the turn of member of the Supervisory Board Robb Rasmussen. The message that our employees should be proud of their achievements was especially important to us. Because together we have achieved a lot – more than just rolling out MS Teams. We were able to cushion falling revenue, especially in consulting, with corresponding cost measures. This allowed us to keep our EBITA stable.
I also point out in the interview that the financial organization was able to advance cash management and profitability enhancement programs more quickly than would presumably have been the case under normal circumstances. Because in the crisis everyone understood how important it is to “keep the money together”. Any resistance was therefore limited. The initial progress in cash management has since become apparent in all regions, and can be easily measured by the maturity structure of receivables.
Top Items on the CFO’s Agenda: Profitability & Standardization
Despite these successes, this is not the time for us to relax and enjoy the results of our hard work – and that to me is another central message of the annual report. A transformation is a marathon, not a sprint. The first item on my agenda is to continue improving profitability: Cost discipline will be essential in the current fiscal year as well, and it will help us to safeguard our earnings and cash targets. In turn, investments have to measure up to strict criteria – such as the payback period.
Given the company’s decentral history, I believe that there is also still considerable potential for improvement in the standardization of processes and systems. A key step in this context is the roll-out of our new cloud-based ERP system (SAP S/4HANA).
Given everything that we have experienced and learned during the coronavirus crisis, I am more optimistic for the future now than I was when I first took office over a year ago. This is because our corporate culture and the qualities of our employees are an excellent foundation for moving ahead with change and straightforwardly handling any new challenges.
Read the full annual report and find out more about our strategy, and the facts and figures on NTT DATA Business Solutions.