The COVID-19 crisis transformed organisations, forcing them to use technology which redefined their processes, methods, systems & apply digitalisation in finance. Now all stakeholders, from investors to employees, expect this digital metamorphosis to continue. They say this great leap forward into the digital age must be sustained or warn that the organisation risks becoming obsolete. For CFOs, this means they need to evaluate which technologies to prioritise to continue to drive profitability, both now and in the future.
To continue their digitalisation efforts into 2023, CFOs must add new technologies and fortify existing systems. This involves looking at processes end to end to identify waste, shifting to the cloud and restructuring the finance team to bolster digital expertise. Migrating to the cloud means organisations can easily add new automation tools and upscale cost-effectively and with agility if required. However, a significant hurdle to accelerating digitalisation can be finding and onboarding the right digital skills.
CFOs need to determine the digital competencies required in finance immediately and in the longer term. According to research from Gartner, 80% of finance leaders believe the pace of digital technology implementation within finance will accelerate in the next few years. Yet, over 70% of finance leaders lack digital competency specificity or training plans for developing these competencies. Securing the right digital disciplines in the organisation is vital for competitive advantage, and those tasked with digitising finance must source and recruit the right talent. The leadership team must understand the purpose and mission of digital transformation and know what combination of skills is required to achieve the strategic digital vision.
In the 2021 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends survey, 72% of respondents identified the ability of “people to adapt, reskill, and assume new roles” as one of the most critical factors in navigating future disruptions.
As well as identifying and investing in the right capabilities for teams, artificial intelligence machine learning and robotic potential are developing rapidly and becoming a key components in financial software. Its potential to redefine business and boost profitability will ensure its speedy adoption by most enterprises. The boom in AI and machine learning has been greatly accelerated by the major cloud providers that moved quickly to adopt these applications onto their massive data centres.
Integrating multiple technologies is key to delivering value in the digital age, but leaders must also realise that it is essential to digitalise the finance function itself. The need to accelerate digital should not just stay within finance. All aspects of the enterprise should collaborate to transform customer solutions, workforce productivity and supply chain transformation.
The Gartner Digital Enterprise Study says when senior finance leaders understand the technology needed to evolve the organisation, their company will move twice as fast on digital transformation and 67% of leaders believe their organisation must become significantly more digitalised.
Source: Gartner Digital Enterprise Study
It is apparent in the post-pandemic era that businesses require a strong digital transformation strategy, but there are challenges to building this and executing it, but most business leaders are clearly signalling an acceleration in digital business initiatives. Many expect digital technology to lead to substantial or total transformation for their industry by 2026 with 69% of business leaders say digitalisation initiatives are accelerating.
Transform and Execute
There is no doubt automation has changed the way we all work. The last decade has seen finance move beyond spreadsheet macros to technology which enables businesses to automate mundane tasks like searching, reconciling, comparing and more. The global pandemic acted as a catalyst to speed up efforts to go further. Organisations sought to deploy more technology because they had to respond quickly, innovate, and adapt in the face of fast-moving change. The challenges of this era also created opportunities by removing paradigms and allowing leaders to rethink the processes and operations of their organisations. There will be no return to the old ways of doing things and the new normal is to ensure operations, processes, and reporting are more flexible, adaptive, and applied successfully for all stakeholders.
As CFOs look to source technology for finance, making the right investment decision is critical. To find out more about how we can help you accelerate your organisations digital transformation, get in touch now.
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