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Finance in the digital age
The digital shift
Digital trends are changing the consumers’ demands and expectations, the way the business must operate, and the talent dynamics in the market. With the digital shift in core business, finance needs to enable and drive the change, and not be stuck in the past. While digital disruption in finance is fast becoming an inescapable reality, most CFOs remain grossly underprepared.
Finance leaders today have a huge opportunity to play a lead role in shaping the digital agenda of the organization. Digital transformation of finance holds the key to make this shift work toward a digital organization—as routine processes get automated and exponential technologies usher in the power of unmatched computing to support the judgement and decision making roles of the CFO.
After reviewing global trends, innovations, and leading practices, we believe Digital Finance is likely to be underpinned by five key themes:
- Most finance processes will be run in a “factory” model—inter-connected, automated, and predictable.
- Information will be available real-time and will be almost ubiquitous—with cyber security emerging as the not-to-be-compromised frontier of risk.
- Predictive analytics—from internal and external sources, based on structured and unstructured data—will be the norm and not the exception. The availability of cognitive skills to synthesize information will differentiate the leading finance organizations.
- Finance talent will come from non-traditional sources with Gen Y/Z leadership and novel value systems. Millennials in finance teams will demand and expect different models of rewards and work ethos.
- The role of the CFO will continue to evolve further and morph into that of a Chief Performance Officer. Cash, risk, reputation, and economics will be the guiding forces in the CFO profiles.
Through this whitepaper, we paint a picture of finance in the digital age and wish to introduce the building blocks of this change. We also suggest a direction for finance to prepare itself for the inescapable disruptive future.