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Deloitte CFO Signals™ Survey

Customer and Finance/Accounting top list of analytics investments

Deloitte’s third quarter (Q3 2016) CFO Signals™ survey, a quarterly survey tracking the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s largest and most influential companies, reveals that companies are making substantial investments in advanced technologies.

Exploring customer data and visualizing, aggregating, and reporting on business operations data cited as top two purposes for company analytics investments.

Nearly 80 percent of CFOs say their companies have implemented cloud platforms; 12 percent are evaluating or piloting them.

New York, October 3, 2016—Deloitte’s third quarter (Q3 2016) CFO Signals™ survey, a quarterly survey tracking the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s largest and most influential companies, reveals that companies are making substantial investments in advanced technologies. When asked in which types of analytics has the company invested in, or will invest in substantially, customer analytics and finance/accounting analytics rose to the top. Nearly half of CFOs say they have already made substantial investments in customer analytics and nearly 60 percent say they will make further investments over the next three years. About 45 percent of CFOs say they have already made investments in finance and accounting analytics, and 52 percent say they will invest more in the future.

We believe these findings validate our view that there is a rapidly accelerating effort underway to ‘digitize finance.’ CFOs now have another knowledge domain they will likely need to master over the next few years to fulfill their roles as a strategist and catalyst within their companies

said Sanford Cockrell III, national managing partner of the U.S. CFO Program, Deloitte LLP.

Advancements in hardware and software have enabled a wide array of solutions that can enhance companies’ ability to recognize, synthesize, respond to, and anticipate a widening array of internal and external trends and events

said Greg Dickinson, managing director, Deloitte LLP, who leads the North American CFO Signals survey. “We wanted to help our clients understand the degree to which some leading technologies are currently being implemented within large companies.”

Interestingly, while workforce and talent analytics was near the bottom of the list of past analytics investments, the category is tied for third place with risk and assurance related analytics with regard to future investments, chosen by 40 percent of CFOs.

Analytics is often discussed as a monolithic category, but these responses show companies are thinking about their analytics investments in terms of priorities and outcomes, and are shifting investment plans to align with potential areas of growth and opportunity.

said Steven Ehrenhalt, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and U.S. and global finance transformation leader.

CFOs were also asked about their current use of select digital technologies. Nearly 80 percent of CFOs say their companies have implemented cloud solutions, with nearly 50 percent saying they use cloud in a few areas, and just over 30 percent saying they use it broadly. Cloud platforms are the only technology implemented by more than half of the companies according to the CFOs surveyed; other technologies on the list include:

  • Robotic process automation (RPA), already used by slightly more than 30 percent of companies;
  • Visualization technologies, which have been implemented by just under 30 percent of companies;
  • Cognitive science and artificial intelligence, implemented by about 17 percent of companies; and
  • In-memory, used by 10 percent of companies, and blockchain, by 4 percent.

When asked what the top purposes are for their company’s analytics investments, exploring customer data is at the top of the list, cited by nearly 55 percent of CFOs. Just under half cite visualizing, aggregating and reporting on business data, and just under 40 percent say aiding complex decisions is a top purpose.

“New data and technologies are interesting in their own right, but it’s the business purpose at the core of these technology investments that helps us understand where the value lies right now–and hints at where the value may lie in the future,” commented Khalid Kark, managing director, Deloitte LLP, and director of research for Deloitte’s CIO Program. “This quarter’s survey findings show a strong current focus on understanding customers and making better strategic and operational decisions.”

To download a copy of Deloitte’s third quarter CFO Signals survey, please visit:http://www.deloitte.com/us/cfosignals2016Q3.

About The Deloitte CFO Signals™ survey
The Deloitte CFO Signals survey for the third quarter of 2016 was conducted during the two-week period ending Aug. 19, 2016. Eighty percent of CFO respondents were from organizations with more than $1 billion in annual revenues, and 73 percent were from publicly-traded organizations.

Each quarter, CFO Signals tracks the thinking and actions of CFOs representing many of North America’s largest and most influential organizations. This report summarizes CFOs’ opinions in four areas: business environment, company priorities and expectations, finance priorities and CFOs’ personal priorities.

For more information about Deloitte’s CFO Signals, or to inquire about participating in the survey, please contact NACFOSurvey@deloitte.com.

About Deloitte’s CFO Program
The CFO Program brings together a multidisciplinary team of Deloitte leaders and subject matter specialists to help CFOs stay ahead in the face of growing challenges and demands. The program harnesses our organization’s broad capabilities to deliver forward thinking and fresh insights for every stage of a CFO’s career—helping CFOs manage the complexities of their roles, tackle their organization’s most compelling challenges, and adapt to strategic shifts in the market. For more information about Deloitte’s CFO Program, please contact uscfoprogram@deloitte.com or visit www.deloitte.com/us/thecfoprogram.

As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

Media contacts:

Grace Pai-Leonard
Public Relations
Deloitte
+1 973 602 5906

Michelle DeZabala
Public Relations
Deloitte
+ 212 436 2492

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