Are you ready for the digital invaders?

As the finance profession continues to evolve the message is clear – as finance leaders and trusted advisors to the busineNaomi Hill 2ss, we must embrace our developing role as a major influencer of corporate strategy. This will enable us to rise to the challenges of technological disruption and proactively look to the future, allowing us to persistently innovate.

In my previous blog I explored the phenomenon of ‘Uberisation’ and how a whole new competitive landscape is being driven by disruptive innovation. This theme is now reflected in IBM’s new CFO point of view called ‘Redefining Performance.’ The theme is recognised amongst the C-Suite with 67% of CFOs believing the barriers are now collapsing between previously distinct industries and an expectation this will increase over the next few years. In turn, convergence, competition and commotion (disruption) is now the single biggest trend that is transforming business. The role of the CFO is evolving as digital invaders, with disruptive models, are creating new challenges and redefining businesses. As a finance community we realise this creates intensifying competition as rival enterprises can seize an organisation’s core business as they transform into new industries. However, this also provides opportunities for growth by shifting the focus from isolated products and services to cross-sector customer experiences.

The view equally highlights that the dynamic changes in competition is due to a combination of market pressures, technological processes and emerging technology. Cloud computing, mobile solutions, Internet of Things and cognitive computing will each have a particularly big impact on organisations over the next three to five years. It can be difficult to evaluate the full influence of new technologies, and acquiring the right technological proficiency is one of the topics CFOs know they’ll have to contend with. The top 4% of the CFOs interviewed – which are labelled performance accelerators -now use predictive analytics more extensively than previous years for future financial planning, forecasting revenues and managing risk. It is clear that finance talent development in analytic techniques and tools will play an increasingly significant role for finance organisations as we embrace digital innovation.

How are CFOs preparing for a future in which technological disruption is inescapable? The view highlights finance leaders, particularly performance accelerators, are now interested in influencing their organisation’s ability to integrate, analyse and adapt. This enables businesses to become more data-driven as we look for ways to manage risk and plan for the future. 100% of performance accelerators also stated that taking a long-term view and integrating financial and operational planning is integral in shaping an organisation’s strategic development.


To learn more and draw on the insight from IBM’s Global C-suite Study download the CFO Perspective now.

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