Finance in a digital world: It’s crunch time for CFO’s!

A series on digital transformation in finance

Explore the latest installment, “Crunch time III,” in which we provide insight into how and where cognitive technologies can play a role in the finance organization. Then, understand the various digital disruptors and their impact on the original “Crunch time” report, and read CFO's thoughts and experiences on making the digital journey in “Crunch time, too.” Wherever you start, one thing is clear: from cloud computing and robotics to analytics, artificial intelligence, and cognitive technologies, a new class of digital disruptors is transforming how business gets done.

Crunch time III: The CFO’s guide to cognitive technology

Cognitive technologies have been adopted in other areas of business, inspiring finance to start learning about them, experimenting with them, and figuring out how to use them. The goal, as with any finance technology initiative, is to create a more efficient, insightful, and controlled finance function, yet only 42 percent of surveyed CFO’s said their finance team is knowledgeable about emerging technologies, including cognitive.1

Crunch time III: The CFO’s guide to cognitive technology provides a collection of examples based on currently available technologies we’ve seen companies begin to test and adopt, in addition to our experience working with many finance organizations that are devoting more resources—financial and human—to deploying new technologies in these early days of cognitive.

It’s important to remember that none of these technologies stands on its own. There is no Internet of Things or blockchain without cloud computing. There is no cognitive pattern matching without advanced analytics. The technologies build on one another. And what do they build into? Faster and better ways of getting work done.

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Talent essentials for digital transformation

The growth of digital business is already reshaping the talent marketplace, far beyond finance. As organizations seek to upgrade their workforces in all areas, they are placing a premium on people with the relationship and analytical skills, who can also understand the business. Talent essentials for digital transformation include:

  • Leadership: A sharp view into the future and a clear roadmap for getting there
  • Culture: Less predictability, more experimentation, and innovation
  • New skills: Technology savviness combined with business understanding
  • Engagement: An opportunity to learn, grow, and innovate for digital natives or millennials

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“Digital transformation is fundamentally human-centric because it’s about imagining new ways of value creation. For that to happen, people have to be digital enablers as well as users of new digital capabilities.”

Framing the future

Which path makes sense for you? What kind of roadmap will you need to realize the benefits of digital transformation? In the end, organizations will need to chart their own courses. But no matter which future you envision, the leaders will likely be those who figure out how to make digital work for finance—and for the whole business, too.

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“Not having a roadmap would be really dangerous these days because the pace of transformation is speeding up in every industry. Be on the lookout for quick wins and use them to validate your direction.”

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