Emerging financial services trends are pressuring executives, the CFO and CIO in particular, to modernize their technology portfolios so they can adapt to changing business models and drive innovation. Agility is key to succeeding in all of these areas.
The question is, how can these leaders team up to beat top organizational financial challenges and create a more resilient business — both in the enterprise function and financial industry?
For one, they have to make the right investments today, starting with taking a more holistic approach to digital transformation. Every company has to be able to move faster. The office of the CFO is no longer just about closing the books. That’s foundational.
They need to be able to pivot the business, address new markets and meet customer demands quickly. Yet, this type of agility is almost impossible to achieve with legacy technology and processes.
Finance of the Future
On the other hand, a cloud-based, digital platform can seamlessly integrate with other business systems resulting in greater visibility of the right information for optimal business decisions and outcomes.
These modern financial management tools enable both business agility and innovation. Think composable ERP and the integration of bespoke industry systems to an intelligent data core — data/analytics/insight is really the value for ERP.
Finance is an area poised to deliver this value. The function may include solutions critical for other parts of the business such as supply chain. All point solutions have to be part of the equation, so interoperability is critical. There’s power in the integration, and a robust enterprise management architecture will drive agility.
In fact, there’s a significant opportunity in the financial industry to continue the cloud movement momentum. We’ve seen it in insurance and alternative assets, and, more recently, banking and capital markets, which are integrating risk, regulatory and finance functions for balance sheet capital planning and funds transfer pricing calculations.
For instance, banks of the future are building innovative and inclusive ecosystems today. In this environment, platforms will enable greater connectivity, more intricate interactions, and better products and services.
In particular, aligning financial planning and analysis and controllership will help companies adapt, innovate, and thrive. Data and process changes must be solved together. Enterprise finance reduces the data hops, streamlines the business processes and provides one source of truth for the entire organization—and a platform for ESG calculation and reporting.
How to Lay the Foundation for Agility First, Then Innovation
Many financial organizations and functions are now asking what technology can help solve their problems and how. It’s important to understand that now, with cloud technologies that frequently release new functionality, going live is no longer the end goal. Continuous optimization is.
This might make it harder to know where to begin, but the best place to start is with the end in mind.
Does the finance operating model need to be re-thought before or during the execution of technology-focused projects? Activate governance processes to ensure future results don’t look and act like past disconnected or poorly maintained, overly complicated solutions with disparate data.
Integration lays the foundation for agility first, then innovation. It enables the enterprise to work from one set of data, reduce and eliminate data hops and time-consuming reconciliation. This frees up resources to move from tactical roles to strategic, insightful focus on trends and seeing the possibilities for the future.
Teaming up to Solve Organizational Financial Challenges With Technology
Together the CIO and CFO can create a modern finance strategy that stands to transform the function via technology. They can cut costs while improving operational effectiveness to help teams imagine, innovate and transform.
With the right foundation in place, these leaders won’t need to work so hard to gain meaningful insights from their data. Intelligent, automated analysis will be a given, freeing them to do what they do best: think big about the business.