In an era of modern finance, leadership is becoming digital leadership, explains Oracle
How finance leadership is becoming digital leadership in an era of modern finance
CFOs, FDs and senior professionals in all companies are asking themselves a key question: how fast can our current models and systems really respond to change? The challenge facing them is increasingly to enable not just financial but business agility. With finance operating models under pressure to support digital-age business models, there are vital decisions to be made about transformational technologies, tools and techniques, alongside new information and service demands. Up-to-date, complete and in-depth understanding and clear vision are needed to ensure finance functions and teams are equally fit and equipped for the future, and able to support businesses in the way they need.
Guidance overtakes governance
The imperative is becoming ever-clearer. The evolution of the finance role is inexorable and acknowledged by analysts and financial professional organisations alike. Guidance for the business is becoming as importance as governance. Meeting the growing demand for strategic advice and input will need insight that comes from more than simply historical numbers; it will need greater visibility, more analytic capability. Finance’s deep roots in financial information and judgement will never change – but, today, it is becoming as much a guidance system as a governance function.
Data is the new currency
Delivering insight that can support better decisions, and providing organisations with new services such as self-service reporting and planning, requires a new approach to digital information and the platforms that connect and deliver it to the right people at the right time. Data is becoming the new currency, with finance playing a key role in ensuring that it is managed, controlled, connected across the enterprise, and leveraged for the good of the business. Finance leaders are thus becoming digital leaders and, as such, gain a new imperative to immerse and learn to stay ahead of the curve. They may be ideally positioned to help drive a data-driven culture through the enterprise, but that doesn’t make it easier to do.
Transformation rules, OK
The expectation is clear that finance leaders must play a key role as organisations transform to meet disruptive change and a digital future. KPMG’s Global Transformation Study suggested that 96% of organisations are in some phase of transformation or other. Business leaders across the board are realising that they must embed continuous innovation into the culture, work to make better use of information and adapt to digital. For finance leaders to support and drive transformation, their financial IT systems will need to be fit for the future. Unfortunately, our research suggests that fewer than half of today’s finance IT systems are ready and capable of the flexibility and functionality that will be required of them.
Often overcomplex, legacy finance IT often has rigid functionality, while vital data is disconnected and, far too often, still handled only in spreadsheets. Organisations are held back by slow, manual reporting processes, when what they are beginning to demand are speedily delivered, readily available, highly connected insights and analysis that enable new thinking and innovation.
To play their future role, senior finance professionals need to escape legacy IT limitations, cut through complexity, and understand the options available to them. That’s why Oracle is again holding the Modern Finance Experience at ExCeL London on 1-2 February 2017– an unmissable event for CFOs, FDs and senior finance professionals.
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Finance leaders can not only network with peers who share similar challenges, but gain actionable insights from enterprises, strategists and innovators who are already bringing the business future alive. They can hear about business trends that will influence the financial landscape, and discover digital platforms and analytics that can transform financial decision-making and planning.