Finance- the cog of the enterprises’ performance wheel
Today, CFO’s and finance function’s role is no longer limited to mere crunching numbers and publishing reports. Organizations are looking to forward to driving businesses basis inputs from finance function. RPA initiatives have played pivotal role in achieving the desired efficiency and automation. Automation and standardization of processes to bring in efficiency is a past story. Finance team is now expected to turn into a strategic and impactful business partner and help businesses to unlock the value for their stakeholders. What awaits now is how you make your internal systems and functions smart, so as to enable you to derive insights for faster and impactful decisions thereby mitigating risks. This is what will make organizations more agile and competitive. Digital transformation wave has disrupted businesses and corporates by putting lot of performance pressures to exceed expectations of its stakeholders. CFOs around the world are hounded by the digital disruption and demands to shift their role from diagnostic to prescriptive analysts. This new finance breed is now looking to aggressively leverage their digital investments to become more competitive and grow by continuously excelling in what they offer to their customers and investors. It’s high time to equip the finance function with digital capabilities to help them make smarter bets and defy the business odds. A holistic approach to make finance the cog of your enterprise’s wheel starts with creating a vision of the future finance and empowering them with the right capabilities.
Launchpad for transformation
In the efforts to succeed under the competitive pressures, organizations tend to undertake myriad of digital initiatives without alignment to the business objectives. Investment in multiple areas without a clear focus and roadmap to transformation might backfire leading to low returns than anticipated. Finance function has the organization wide reach and visibility and therefore is in the best position to accelerate the success of digitalization. Evaluating opportunities basis industry landscape, your position, strategic objectives and needs of your organization helps determine the ones with the highest priority and stay focused to scale easily. CFO here plays pivotal role in convincing the internal as well as the external stakeholders, how the digital efforts will create impact on the company’s financials and change the industry dynamics. Finance function will therefore, act as the powerhouse to fuel the digital transformation journey in an organization.
Expanding the digital footprint
A logical step after the prioritization is to take a deep dive into - what you need- to execute the identified opportunities and which existing capabilities can be leveraged and built upon. Starting with internal diagnosis and steadily moving ahead to benchmark against the industry peers will give a detailed picture of how to align the resources. Strategic competency and analytical proficiency expected from the new finance breed requires CFOS to ensure they are well-equipped with digital tools. A well thought data and analytics strategy will result in better and faster decision making abilities, meaningful insights and risk management. Intelligent automation will help in integrating newer technologies like Blockchain, Digital virtual agents, etc. to transform the business-as-usual. This will help organizations anticipate the impending business challenges and prepare the action plan accordingly.
Stewardship to value creation
Once the foundation is laid, you must get the wheels rolling to execute the action plan. Identifying the new value drivers, challenging and refining the legacy style of working and supporting the business to make logical and profitable moves will lay the road for digital transformation. Data driven analytics and process transformation will result into agile and lean delivery and operation models. Rationalizing the products and services offerings that drive bottom line will be easier to tap the potential opportunities. One of the major misses in the entire transformation journey is keeping the track of the initiatives and measuring the performance for course corrections. CFO along with the CIO will take charge of execution of transformation initiatives and timely corrective actions. Ensuring that you measure and communicate the ROI will help your organization and leadership to stay invested in the digital efforts. Finance transformation led by forward looking CFOs will enable you to gain and sustain the competitive advantage in the long run.