The role of a Single System Administrator (hereinafter SSA) can be performed by various people, inside or outside the company.

Here follows the 3 fundamental variables to consider when choosing your SSA.

There are many reasons why it can be a wise decision to entrust system administration to an external consultant.

The first is financial (as the resource can be used “as required” by the actual updating and upgrading needs). Furthermore, as external resources perform the same function for multiple customers, they often have better and more up-to-date training on the best practices and applications available on the market and can play a fundamental role in advising the CFO and financial function on the basic decisions to be made.

On the other hand, an internal resource will have better and more detailed knowledge of the company and its processes, and can interface more effectively and efficiently with the individuals involved in using the CPM. An internal resource is also particularly suited to managing very complex projects that require invasive and ongoing system upgrade and management work.

External consultants charged with performing the SSA role often have an IT background combined with the notions of finance required to understand the technicalities of calculating results and figures. When the decision is made to entrust this task to an internal employee, there is often a tendency to opt for the opposite, entrusting a person in the finance area who is appropriate trained in how to operate the specific product. This decision can involve risks due to frequent recourse to the software platform supplier’s helpdesk and to the independence of the SSA.

We mustn’t forget that the SSA has to be a “primus inter pares” figure who, if not reporting directly to the CFO, should report to a cross-cutting function like the ICT department, in order to prioritize the problems and determine the actions to be taken to resolve them. This problem is felt most acutely when, within the finance area, the tasks of drawing up the final accounts and planning and control are entrusted to different functions and when the statutory and management consolidator are not the same person.

Depending on the complexity of the project they are called upon to manage, SSAs can act in one of two ways (and therefore have two different mandates) in respect of system users.

They may simply be “problem solvers” in charge of all the maintenance tasks, including the most specific (such as report creation), that may be assigned to end users. In order to achieve this, SSAs have to stop being problem solvers and become “enablers” who can train end users to perform certain jobs independently. This decision is influenced by various factors, including the organisational structure of the company, the training, grade and responsibilities of the users involved, and (last but not least) the age of the users.

On the basis of these 3 variables (applicable to different degrees), you will be able to identify the person who is right for you.
Companies often turn to an external consultant with ICT training, who is tasked with acting as an “enabler”.
Others appoint an employee in the finance area to act as a “solver” for his/her colleagues.
But these are just two of the most common cases. And as in many business cases, the most common solution is not always the best one.

Which one applies to you?

(view this post on Tagetik Official Blog)

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